A one in sixty year weather event

Wow… what a terrible storm.  Tasmania has just experienced a once 60 year weather event which took us by surprise.  It happened late Thursday night, with forecasts to expect windy weather…. I don’t think any of us expected the events that unfolded in the late night and early morning.

My family and I were mostly unaffected by the weather… we did have some excessive winds batter our home, yet it has stood for over 100 years, so I wasn’t too worried.  I did hear some of the roof panels battering about, so that is something I will have to check.  I suspect our being unscathed has something to do with our location.  We are in fairly flat land area, with small hills protecting us from most sides, and a safe bay the other.

I had kept an eye on the road alerts when I woke up on Friday morning to drive to work.  There were many road closures, yet it looked like I wouldn’t be too troubled.  It wasn’t until I started to drive that I realised the severity of the situation.  The roads were covered in debris, mostly leaves and small twigs, yet there were also larger branches strewn across the roads which made driving more difficult.  I listened to the local radio as I drove in the darkness, and they explained the situation.  Streets within the city were flooded, with cars being pushed around by the force of the currents.  Despite this, I decided to continue with my journey… I passed buses driven from Hobart on my travels, which gave me an indication the roads were still open.  One thing of interest I did note, was that the National radio broadcasts (ABC) were not working… so they provided no helpful information on the storm.

I passed many signs of disaster work on my drive, such as trees twisted from their trunks, roads covered in sawdust with sawn limbs on the side of the road, and sections of road covered in large rocks (rocks the size of my fist!).  The drive was a little dangerous, yet I took my time and ensured that I was driving carefully.

Once in the city I was surprised with how few cars were about.  The city streets were both devoid of the normally large amount of people walking to work, and the streets were littered with piles of fallen leaves. When I arrived at work I started to see the size of the damage from the previous night.  There were many roads closed in the city due to massive damage from the storm.  There were areas flooded, with many houses without power (14000 houses).

Some locations (very close to my old home in Collinsvale) were so badly effected that the bridges allowing access to the town of Molesworth were destroyed… stranding many families in a place so close to a capital city, yet unable to escape.  They had food delivered by helicopter as some families were running low on essentials.  Some of my friends have had their homes flooded, been cut off from driving on roads, and experienced some suffering from this disaster.

I don’t know how prepared someone could be for such a situation. I will ask my friends who were effected for any recommendations they may have.  I don’t think many Preppers could arrange themselves so that this disaster would pass them by without effect.  Keeping valuable, and easily damaged, items off the floor might be a good start… yet who could live like that – Always worried a flood will inundate their homes?  I don’t think the weather forecast predicted the flooding, so being vigilant isn’t a solution either.  Maybe this is just one of the disasters we can’t predict or prevent.  If you have some fore warning, preparations can be made, yet this isn’t always possible.  I hope that I can get some information soon from those who experienced the disaster first hand.

1 thought on “A one in sixty year weather event”

  1. Glad to hear you weren’t badly affected, LTP!
    Up here, north of Launceston, on our acre we did get some wild winds, and plenty of rain, but apart from a two small trees over, a few branches and lots of leaves….no damage. Power was out for two days, but we hooked the generator up to fridge and freezer, also a garage exam. light, and used a gas camping stove for cooking. We always keep spare fuel, candles, torches and gas for such events. Also have a caravan with gas stove/oven, hot water shower and fridge. Our wood fire kept us warm. All good!

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