My mother managed to get through on the phone tonight to her brother in Australia who was the source of some concern living - as he and his wife Katherine do - in a kind of sheltered housing complex.
They're fine though - the floodwaters bypassed their place (which also sits on the top of a hill) by a few hundred yards, so apart from a lack of supplies, because of all the panic buying before the second (forecast, that time) set of floods they'll probably get by. My cousin Graham and his family aren't quite so fortunate, as they live in a lower lying part of town, and they're currently marooned. They're OK, but can't get out of the house.
Archie seems relatively hopeful that once the waters recede a wee bit the authorities will be acting quickly to get supplies, treatment and so on out to the folk most in need. The flash floods sound biblical. As he puts it, it happened in the space of an hour...people were going out in the street to watch the spectacle, and some of them didn't make it back indoors.
Scary stuff altogether.