On Wednesday the wind started to increase. I didn’t really notice it where I am, I suspect that the nearby hills and forests protected us from the brunt of the winds. Apart from losing power three times overnight, nothing really happened. On the drive to work I did see fallen trees on the roadside and broken branches littering the road. The ran wasn’t too bad, yet over Wednesday it intensified. On the way home from work I noticed the river had swollen considerably. There were sections where small creeks had formed over the road, making driving conditions dangerous. Thursday morning, I arrived at work early and after a few hours my boss came out and told me that he had heard, on the radio, that the river I needed to cross to get home was at flood level. He told me that if I needed to get home, I might like to consider leaving now. It was around 11am, so that would be a pretty short work day. I checked the BOM website and found that there was a warning for the Huonville bridge, and that they expected the bridge to be flooded at noon. I have been a little lax in my prepping since the move. I have my normal stuff in my bag, yet I wasn’t prepared for a night away from home and I had no equipment in my car that would let me sleep overnight. I decided I better make a move to get home.
I drove the thirty minutes it takes me to get to Huonville from the city in around 40 minutes. The traffic was a bit busier than normal and the conditions were a bit wet. When I finally reached the Huonville bridge I was surprised at the high level of the water. It was just under the road level. I could see that the Esplanade (the road along the river’s edge, off to the side of the bridge) was already flooded and closed. Once I cross the bridge I relaxed a little… there should be no other impediments to my journey home. I stopped off to the side to get a few images of the river and then drove the rest of the way home with no problems.
Friday was when the weather turned from wet and windy, to cold and snowy. I had received forewarning from the Meteorologists that there may be snow on Friday morning. Before I left the house I did check the road warnings and found that the river had dropped (and would continue to drop in height). Once at work I was told by almost a dozen people that the Huonville bridge was flooded. Each person had heard this from conversations in cafes and news reports. I told them all that the bridge was fine, that the BOM website had confirmed that the river levels were dropping, and there were no concerns.
When I left work that afternoon I did encounter some dangerous road conditions. Nearby Mount Wellington had received a large amount of snow over the morning and afternoon. When I left work, all the minor mountains around Hobart had received their own share of snow. Driving out of Hobart, 1/3 of the way home, I reached the mountains and the snow was everywhere. I reduced my speed as recommended and made my way through the cold. I was a little surprised by the amount of cars on the sides of the highway… some were there to stop and play in the snow, some had obviously lost control and come to a halt. Some of these cars were still in the side ditches when I came back through on Saturday morning, I hope that the owners managed to get a safe ride home.
It is easy to relax and be complacent. I know I have had situations where I forgot my bad, or failed to re-stock it, so I will once more take some time to sort out my Get Home Bag as well as add a few additional items due to the season.