One thing you really don't think about when something like the floods happen is the effect on traffic as people try to get back to "normal", ie off to work etc. At the moment, there is one way through Maitland that remains open - all of the little back roads that I take regularly to avoid the highway are cut due to floodwaters. So the New England H'way is it. A small section of that got closed on Monday night due to water over the road, and is still closed. That means rather than a 2-lane-each-way-80kmh highway, traffic is being diverted through the main CBD - a 60kmh-single-lane-each-way-with-traffic-lights nightmare! Add to that the extra cars on the road due to no trains running, and of course the ever present sight-see-ers coming for a look, and you have gridlock.
It took Pete over 3 hours to get home from work in Newcastle last night (normally a 60min trip) - he left at 3:30ish so he could avoid the rush! More than 2 hours of that was spent travelling between Greenhills and Maitland - a 10 min trip normally.
He's working from home today - I have to go in to Newcastle for an assessment today so I'm leaving early and will see if I can come home early too.