Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A post about a storm

Damn! I'm such a lazy blogger! I really can't be fagged writing anything but I know I'll be interested to look back and remember the day we took a direct hit from a Cat 2 cyclone...

So here it is.

BOM weather radar
On Friday 16th March I saw somewhere online that the low pressure system that was somewhere east of Darwin was developing into a cyclone. 
Sometime through the day I heard it could be headed toward Darwin... Could become a cat 2.
Pretty much paid no attention. The sky was clear there was barely any wind. Big deal! 

By Saturday night we were on a Warning that a cat 2 cyclone was headed for us, to tell the truth that didn't sound too scary and it would likely just pass by like all the others, with a bit of rain some wind gusts and a lot of BS headlines in the paper the next day.

It was scheduled to hit at dawn on Saturday at 5 am everything seemed quiet.

By six there was some rain and wind...

Then the rain and wind increased.... Sam suggested I bring the budgies inside. I, in my wisdom decided to turn their cage around so the tarp that hangs down one side of the cage was facing the windward side so they wouldn't get wet, and I left them outside...

By 9 am I decided that I should probably have listened to my wife, who is quite a novice meteorologist...

At 10 am we were watching the PawPaw trees snapping like twigs and the neighbor's trampoline smashing against our fence... Then I decided I should go outside and tie ours down just in case this storm got serious...

Sometime after that I was becoming worried that the neighbors dogs, chairs and unrestrained children might come flying through the windows!

As the core passed over our home, my cynicism about the impact of this cyclone was well and truly stowed away not to be revisited! This was heavy!

Once the storm had passed I went out to survey the damage. Wow! Was there some damage! Our neighborhood is built around a network of parkland. About 40 years ago the council planted 1,000s of African Mahogany trees. These trees are huge and provide great shade... unfortunately they are also prone to falling over in high winds!

Our neighborhood looked like a nuclear bomb had hit it. In some places there was not a tree left standing. These are trees with trunks and some limbs the diameter of an average car! 

It is impossible to describe the scene and photos don't really do it justice. Amazingly no one was killed or even hurt, from what I've heard. At home we never lost power or water but friends in other areas have gone four days without electricity, some are still waiting for it to be re-connected.

Soon after the cyclone had passed we cleaned up the mess of our yard and went back to our lives. As I looked at the destroyed pawpaw trees and was slightly sad about the loss of my fruit trees and the crop I would miss out on I was prompted to think of those people who live in less developed countries where they are reliant on their food crops for survival. How devastating even a small cyclone like this could be for them, how many times we've heard of far larger cyclones or hurricanes hitting communities in the Pacific Islands, the Philippines, the West Indies, India and Sri Lanka. How the people of those countries must be affected.

We will miss our tall trees but for most of us this storm was little more than an exciting diversion from our mundane lives, a glimpse at the power that nature has to disrupt our plans for BBQs and skittles.

Thursday, March 01, 2018