Saturday, November 29

Storm Season

Many of us remember that this time of year, many years ago, we were victims of many storms that lashed through parts of Brisbane.  I can recall picking up my children from kindergarten late in the afternoon (around 4 pm) when huge storms lashed Brisbane.  They are adults now with children of their own so it was a while ago.

We would rather be home and safe, but we didn't have the warnings that we get now, and often we would be caught up in it, not by choice, but by circumstances.  If you were coming home from work, and had to collect children from school or kindergarten, and it was storm season, you were likely to find yourself midst one of these storms - sometimes hail, but mostly high winds and bucket loads of rain.  I can recall dodging broken trees/branches on the road was I drove home hoping that we made it safely.  Luckily we always did.

It has been a long time since we have had massive storms, such as found their way across Brisbane last Thursday (November 27th, 2014).  I had had several warnings from Council Alerts, that storms, possible hail, high winds, etc could be heading in my direction, but we have had that often, but they've fizzled out and we've not even had a bluster of wind, and sometimes no rain.

This storm was different.

I was at my daughter's place at Hemmant (eastern suburb of Brisbane) and luckily my son in law drove my car up to a shed at the back of his house, so the hail - which was the size of  Aussie 10 or 20 cent pieces dropped where my car had just been.  Rain came down heavily, but at Hemmant it was short lived.  I was ready to go to a function in the city - actually at South Bank, across the river from the CBD, and was going by train.  Shortly after the storm passed I drove to the railway station and parked my car.

There was a train in the station, pointing the direction I was headed so I got on board.  An announcement came over the PA system that there would be a delay.  I pondered getting back into the car and driving, but knew it could be chaos in the city, parking could be a problem, and while I was procrastinating the train took off - on its wait to the city.  Sadly it only made it past two more stations before it stopped.  We were advised that all trains were cancelled.  We would have to find our own way to our destination or return home.

There were two girls from Dublin, and a bloke from Europe who were "lost" so I suggested they come with me.  Luckily I was able to get a taxi and we headed for the city.  They didn't have any money, so I paid the taxi when we arrived.  I went on to my function and the girls went on to the city. I don't know where the bloke went, but he would have been better off if he had stayed with us!!

The attendance at the function was small - clearly many people did not make it.  We learned a little of the destruction that had taken place all over that city in the storm, as many homes were badly damaged, cars had massive damage and the Army was called out as there were trees down everywhere.

Around 8.30 pm I set out to return home - someone had said that the trains were working again, so I headed for the station,  only to find hundreds of people waiting.  We were told there might be buses, but it was vague.  I returned to the streets looking for a taxi - many with passengers passed but none stopped for me.  In the end I phoned my daughter who came to get me.



These couple of videos show some of the storm as it was happening.  It was scary - and many homes damaged - a lot will be unliveable for many months.  Flooding was in many parts and so many cars have suffered hail damage - one being one that my daughter was buying.  There is some discussion about that at the moment, as who actually owned it at the time is debateable.



When I returned to my home on Friday afternoon I passed a lot of damage - trees down in many places, and I had see lots of other damage along the way, though most seemed to be in the western suburbs and CBD.

My home was safe.  (I had phoned my neighbours after the storm and they had checked my place. ) Some of my plants were shredded - and a plastic box where I grew my chives is wrecked, and there is leaf litter everywhere but otherwise all was well.  There was no electricity for nearly 24 hours, but as I was not home, I didn't use my refrigerator and it appears all the food is ok, though I am going to use some of it very quickly.

Will we get more of these storms this season?  Apparently they could be more prevalent.  Mmmm.  Must make sure I stay safe.  Luckily we do get good warnings now via SMS and Email.

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