ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
Rob Minchel is a producer for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Brisbane. He is not just reporting on the floods, his own house is surrounded by water right now and he joins us by cell phone. Welcome to the program.
M: Good afternoon.
SIEGEL: And where are you right now?
M: Well, Robert, I'm in a very typical Brisbane suburb, a leafy middle-class suburb about three or four miles from the city center. The good news is that I awoke this morning to receding floodwaters. My house is still surrounded by water, but the water is - most of the water has left my property now.
SIEGEL: And are you inside the house, or on the roof of the house?
M: All I can see are the remains of rooftops, treetops. Yesterday I saw a car floating by, children's bicycles, bits of furniture, even a refrigerator. It's just an amazing scene.
SIEGEL: Rob, you've described the evacuation of your daughter and your mother. Why are you still there? Why didn't you leave with your family?
M: My escape route was basically to jump onto my roof and swim across the floodwaters to another house, and from that roof escape to higher land behind.
SIEGEL: Do you think, now, seeing the condition of your house, that when the waters recede, that it can be cleaned up and it's still habitable, or are the walls going to have to come down?
M: I mean, the cleaning of - of course, the most important thing is that so many people have lost their lives, and I think that's where my heart goes out now. Not to my own trivial concerns really about cleaning the house and making sure, you know, the DVD's are going to be back, and the technology - and the cars are OK, because (unintelligible) to those people that have really suffered.
SIEGEL: Well, Rob Minchel, thank you very much for talking with us about it.
M: You're very welcome.
SIEGEL: That's Rob Minchel in Brisbane, Australia. He is a producer for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but he is also somebody whose own home has been surrounded by water in these floods.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.