Dealing with disaster

FOLLOWING weeks of constant rain, Brisbane GP Dr Greg Norman woke to another wet, grey morning on 11 January. He took the day off work to attend to family matters. By evening his livelihood would be in ruins.

“Council [staff] came to the complex,” Dr Norman says of his practice, Bywater Medical Jindalee, “and said the [flood] waters wouldn’t get as high as us. That was at 10.30 am. 

“We made the decision to close the practice, pull out the server… and put everything on the benches, just in case. 

“At 3 pm I heard the news [of the Brisbane River breaking its banks]. I got back to the practice at 4.15 pm. We got the staff back and gutted the place. At 10.30 pm we had to go.”

Over the next two days, the worst floods to devastate Brisbane since 1974 had inundated the bottom level of Dr Norman’s practice and rose to 50 cm above the second floor.

He wasn’t insured.