January 21, 2011
We are pleased to report that the University of Queensland has made outstanding progress in its flood cleanup. All four campuses, including St. Lucia, reopened yesterday, and the university reports that the St. Lucia campus is nearly back to its original condition. However, crews continue to work to restore outdoor sports and recreation facilities.
Cleanup and repairs are also continuing at a remarkable pace throughout the city of Brisbane.
IFSA-Butler's semester 1 program at UQ will begin as scheduled. Thanks to the efforts of thousands of volunteers, we do not foresee any changes to the orientation or move-in schedule.
For an update on the university's recovery, we recommend the UQ Back in Business video. We also recommend monitoring this page for new details on the cleanup.
January 18, 2011
Our on-site staff member in Brisbane, Christi Hoover, is reporting that much of the city is returning to normal. Power has been restored to most of Brisbane, and 90 percent of city buses and trains are running. Christi's update also included information about the campus cleanup and other aspects of life in Queensland:
Food and water
In some stores there are limited grocery items available, particularly fruits and vegetables. It is likely that supplies of produce will be limited in the near future and that prices will rise as a result of the crops throughout Queensland that are now devastated. As for drinking water, health officials are urging people to boil their water before drinking. This is just a temporary measure that probably will be rescinded by the time our students arrive next month.
Emmanuel College experienced minor flooding but sustained no major damage. The college is expected to be fully operational by the end of this week. Urbanest is without power at this time but will probably be reconnected by Wednesday or Thursday. St John's College was not affected by the flooding.
University of Queensland campus
The University of Queensland continues to try and clean its flooded facilities and to determine the extent of the water damage. Volunteers are working to remove water, mud and debris from academic buildings. For more information about the cleanup and its impact on international students, visit the university's FAQ page.
The university also has a photo page showing the aftermath of the flooding and the cleanup efforts. We recommend visiting the page to experience the terrific spirit of the UQ community!
January 12, 2011
Many parts of Brisbane continue to be evacuated, but St. Lucia (the area where University of Queensland is located) is not one of them. The Brisbane suburb of Nathan, where Griffith University is located, has not been affected by the flooding. Urbanest, a housing complex for University of Queensland students, is in an area with some flooding, but the housing complex itself is not expected to flood.
Southern Cross University, which is in the state of New South Wales near Queensland, reports that it is experiencing "minor inconveniences" due to heavy rains, but no flooding.
The Brisbane River is expected to peak to be at 11 a.m. local time on Wednesday. Unfortunately, more significant rain is forecast for the upcoming days and weeks.
Please be assured we are keeping in close contact with our on-site staff in Queensland so that we can continue to offer current and reliable safety advice for our arriving students.
For updated, accurate news regarding the flooding, we recommend visiting the Australian Broadcasting Corporation website.
January 11, 2011
Heavy rains have once again fallen in Queensland, causing flash flooding and water damage in much of the state. However, our program locations of Gold Coast, Townsville and Cairns remain free of flooding.
As of today, heavy rains have caused the Brisbane River to burst its banks. Authorities are evacuating some homes in Brisbane, but so far there have been no evacuations or serious flooding in areas where our students will be located.
As there are no major rivers running through the Gold Coast, no warning have been issued for this area of Queensland.
In the area near Townsville, there have been some highway and road closings, but no major disruptions in life. Of our four Queensland program locations, Cairns has received the least amount of rain and therefore is not at risk for flooding.
At this point, we anticipate that our semester 1 programs in the state of Queensland will begin as scheduled next month, but we will continue to monitor the situation, particularly in Brisbane.
For the latest updates, we recommend the news articles below. Also included is a flooding statement from the University of Queensland.
University of Queensland
January 4, 2011
• Brisbane and the Gold Coast remain unaffected by the flooding.
Staff in our Australia office have sent the following updates regarding our program locations in Queensland:
• Both Cairns and Townsville have not been flooded, nor is there a threat of flooding.
• However, many roads and bridges have been destroyed, and so a massive infrastructure plan will go into action soon as the waters have subsided.
• The rivers near Cairns and Townsville are expected to reach their maximum height tomorrow.
• There has been a lot of rain over the last two weeks and some flood warnings issued for some areas, but Brisbane and the Gold Coast have not been included in these warnings and remain fine. The forecast for the next week does include rain and possibly thunderstorms, but at this point there is no concern for excessive flooding.
More information can be found at:
January 3, 2011
IFSA-Butler is monitoring a flooding situation in the state of Queensland, Australia. Much of western Queensland is in a state of emergency due to heavy rains and flooding, but our program locations in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Townsville and Cairns are not affected. Although Brisbane is the closest city to today's heavy flooding, it is still more than 380 miles from the hard-hit area of Rockhampton.
However, we will continue to review the safety of our program cities with the help of our on-site staff, and we will update our students, parents and advisors as necessary. Our Australia semester 2 program ended in November, and our semester 1 (spring) programs do not begin until February.