And Down Came the Rain & it's still falling!
edited: Saturday, June 09, 2007
By Vena McGrath
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Saturday, June 09, 2007
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Australia is a wide brown land that now has quite a bit of water covering a lot of that barren landscape.
After a seemingly never-ending drought, eastern Australia is now cowering under a deluge not seen for a few decades. There is major flooding already, with more to come as the sky falls in on us. The areas hit with most of the deluge are Brisbane Queensland, Newcastle and Sydney and down past Wollongong in the south of New South Wales. The rain has extended inland but not as far as we would all like it to.
However, the Warragamba catchment in Sydney has had a reputed 70mm of rain. As 25mm makes an inch, then it's very close to 3 inches on the old scale. The rain is still falling with the next week scheduled for more, but lighter falls along the coast mainly. Homes have been flooded as our foresighted planners have allowed them to be built in known flood areas - probably never thinking that those areas would see a major flood again for 100 years.
Trees have crashed through houses with one lucky lady escaping only after the end of her bed was cut off to allow her to escape from a tree that had fallen through her roof onto her bed. It definitely wasn't her time to leave this earth! Another family were using a generator as they had no electricity and the generator apparently blew up, caught on fire and burned down the house. A 29 year old man failed to escape in time. A terrible tragedy.
On the central coast about 1.5 hours drive north from Sydney, a section of the old Pacific Highway collapsed at around 5.00 pm yesterday, just on dark. A car was swept away with a family of 5 on board - Mum, Dad, and three littlies. I believe some of the bodies have been found today. How terribly sad.
An elderly couple were washed from the road in their car yesterday, and their bodies were found today. Another sad result of this weather we are experiencing. I heard a report last night of a couple being saved as they were trapped in their car about to be swept away. A truck driver came to their rescue and managed to get a door open and allow the couple to escape. It wasn't their time to go either.
A large freighter ran aground at Newcastle and there were alarm bells ringing because it was feared that the fuel on board would escape into the sea due to damage to the ship. This afternoon the report was better as a salvage crew had been onboard and the fears seem unfounded. Fortunately the crew of the freighter were airlifted off the ship yesterday safely.
There are many craft damaged in the waters along our coastlines and many, many houses flooded. Roofs have been torn off or crushed by trees. Cars are floating around in creeks and rivers or are half hidden by flood waters on roads. All this water everywhere and most of it not going where it's needed, in the dams and out west.
The wind and the rain in the last two days have been frightening. There were storms on Thursday and Friday with two people reportedly struck by lightening in Sydney on Friday. On Thursday at work we had two blackouts straight after each other and many people lost the work they had been doing through the morning on their computers as we all tend to forget we should save frequently as we work.
The water has been flying off the roof of my house like a waterfall as the gutters fail to cope with the deluge. The yard has been covered with water as the drains are also failing to take the amount of water falling from the sky. My pool - 10 metres x 4 metres - and that's quite a bit of water - was about 10 inches below the coping and in need of refilling so the filter would work properly. This morning my son had to backwash the pool to get rid of a heap of water as it was getting close to overflowing. If the rain keeps up tonight it will be the same tomorrow. Another huge waste of water.
It's a long weekend throughout Australia and of course, as we Aussies do, many people had holidays planned. On Thursday the warnings were out not to travel unless you had to because of what was coming. I am so glad that I didn't have anything planned as the roads are not safe to be on at the moment and the less cars out there the better for everyone trying to get to people to help them.
I cannot see why people take a chance and try to drive through flood waters across roads. Unless it's a life or death situation there is no excuse for being so stupid as to try and drive across raging water thinking that a car will stay on the road and not float away. I also cannot understand how anyone was out on the road yesterday and especially on dark, unless they absolutely had to. Nothing much could be worth losing your life over just so you could get home when the safest thing to do would be to stay put until the water subsided.
I can't remember the last time I experienced rain and wind like last night - and it was all night long. I am so grateful that I have a safe home to be in and that my moggie and my doggie were safe inside with us, with a fire to keep them warm. I thought of the many homeless last night and how terrible it is for them always but so much worse at the moment. It is very unfair how a few have much more than they will ever need and many have less than the rest of us could accept as being worth living for.
So tonight the east coast of Australia, or a major part of it, is under seige and water. As we always say, it's either a feast or a famine in this land of ours - if you get the comparison :)
A very wet goodnight to you. It's now 9.12 pm on Saturday June 9, 2007 in Sydney, Australia.