January 27, 2013

Sharks on the Sidewalk-Oswald in Oz

Braving Oswald

Aside from the huge trees, the navigation buoy, and the clumps of debris floating down the river at high speed, and the wind that stops then starts howling with gusto, and the people scurrying around their boats securing things and checking lines, and the fact that ferry service is shut down, news helicopters are flying overhead and the walkways and lower parts of the city are under water you’d hardly know ex-cyclone Oswald passed through Brisbane recently.

For a long holiday weekend this one sort of sucked. We started with a mild downpour—and giving up on doing anything outside we celebrated Australia Day and Robbie Burns day inside in tandem (Waltzing Matilda chased by scotch). Then the wind picked up and the rain fell harder.

Yesterday, as the storm ramped up even more, Ev and Maia headed into the city so she could start back to circus school. Maia called walking the streets eerie; an empty city (even emptier pubs), broken discarded umbrellas, wailing wind, and rain: so much rain that her raincoat and rain pants simply gave up the effort and turned to sponges.

watch for sharks is not a normal comment to make when walking on the sidewalk
 Last night we kept up on the news—listening as the evacuations kicked in—wondering if we’d be next. The rain fell harder (truly at this point it was more like a solid mass of water). Luckly we never got the worst of the wind and gusts rarely topped 35 knots. But with the city beside us acting as an echo chamber it was monstrously loud. Charlie the cat didn’t like it at all. And our phones kept ringing--message after message offering refuge, assistance, meals and help.

If you’ve ever tried to sleep through bucking and heaving, moaning and screaming (hmm—that reads wrong) you’ll know it’s not an easy thing. And then there was the unknown: what would we wake to.
The beautiful jacaranda at the Botanical Garden was severely damaged
The walkway is underwater

We woke to more noise. And by this time I was really, really sick of Oswald (shut up already!) sick of the damp (it seems if you essentially immerse your entire boat it springs leaks faster than you can fix them).

But the worst has passed, and many, many people have flooded and destroyed homes. We just have lots of wet towels, the risk of sharing the sidewalks with sharks and a bit of uncertainty as we wait for the flood to crest-sometime tomorrow or Weds.

1 comment:

MargaretP said...

Good to see you are safe even if a bit damp,it was pretty scary up here on the mountain, but at least we are not flooding this time.
You were probably a little sheltered in the river, the Gold Coast seems to be copping it pretty bad.