A Drowned Rat in the Sydney Storm

Welcome to our nightmare.

We have spent the last three days being battered by cyclonic winds and extremely heavy rain. While we didn’t lose power, we’ve had a tree fall on the clothes line. The roofing in the back room started a quest for freedom and Geoff was up on the roof battening down the hatches. A glass panel also broke in the louver windows out the front and he had to stick up a sheet of plastic to keep the rain out. We also went through a staggering cast of towels, which soaked up water flowing in underneath the front door. For awhile there, my computer was even being protected by a beach towel draped over the top like a tent.

Geoff was up the ladder at the height of the storm fixing the roof.

Geoff was up the ladder at the height of the storm fixing the roof.

If you want to get a taste for it and walk in our shoes then:

1) Get a fire hose.Turn it onto full bore.

2) Add an industrial-strength turbo fan.

3) Throw in a bucket of beach sand.

4) Turn these all on at once and stand in front.

5) Have a blast!

Fallen tree branch down the street.

Fallen tree branch down the street.

That describes the physical impact.

However, there’s also the psychological impact…the fear. that deep-seated, incredible fear. The wind is whirling and howling outside with such terrifying force and the house is rattling, shaking and flapping and rain’s getting in places it’s never been before. After all, we live in a house not a leaky sieve! The force of the wind was so strong that I had to push the front door shut to close it. I am still shaking inside, not wanting to venture out and just wanting to wrap myself up in a huge doona and hibernate in the house like a bear. Actually, digging a deep cave underneath the house (something like a tornado shelter)Ā  sounds even better!

Ocean Beach, Umina. The surf here is usually fairly calm so this churning mass is quite exceptional!

Ocean Beach, Umina. The surf here is usually fairly calm so this churning mass is quite exceptional!

That said, we ventured out yesterday afternoon to take some photos around town in between blows. There were fallen trees all over the place and streets and footpaths had been turned into instant duck ponds. At a local park, the shade sail had been savagely torn and was flapping around like a lunatic.Rows of bins had been blown around and were lying beside the road like rows of fallen soldiers. Indeed, our garbage truck had turned up right at the height of the storm and Geoff was out there holding it up so the track’s huge metal arm could lift it up and empty the waste. My goodness. Even that was an ordeal!

I'd do anything for a photo- including venturing out into the rain but Geoff was the wind beneath my wings.

I’d do anything for a photo- including venturing out into the rain but Geoff was the wind beneath my wings.

Just in case you think my penchant for hyperbole has gone into overdrive and my aversion to rain has clouded my judgement, the winds were gusting at up to 135 kph and in places 200 mm of rain fell in less than 24 hours. It was so bad that the kids’ school has been closed for two days. This has never happened before. Business in the area has virtually come to a stand still as well due to blackouts and fallen trees. It’s become something of a war zone.

Rubbish bins thrown around beside the road.

Rubbish bins thrown around beside the road. The sand has been swept in from the beach across the road.

I’m still shaking. Tomorrow, the kids are due back at school and I just don’t know. It doesn’t feel safe. After going through all of this, it’s only natural to want to keep my chicks safe in the nest. Right now, even stepping out the front door still feels terrifying. Dangerous.

Local bins.

Local bins.

Joked to a friend on the eve of the storm that I’d never survive in a cold climate.That I’d be stuck in the house for 9 months of the year. I mean…I even struggle with heavy rain. It’s my kryptonite. However, this was no ordinary rain storm. Even the authorities ordered people to stay indoors and only undertake essential travel. That’s more than rain phobia. It’s a severe storm.

Shade sail torn to shreds at the local park.

Shade sail torn to shreds at the local park.

After going through all of this and feeling rather ragged, avoidance is a luxury I don’t have. School’s open tomorrow and I need to get the show back on the road. Throw myself back out the door and put the rattles to rest.

Geoff out in the storm at Ocean Beach.

Geoff out in the storm at Ocean Beach.

It’s all very well to know the importance of confronting your fears and how this actually causes them to shrivel up and die but you still need to take up the challenge. Those aren’t somebody else’s shoes that I need to step into but my own. I’ve conquered mountains but now I simply have to do is step out the door but won’t be easy. That said given the usual morning chaos, I’ll probably be too rushed to even think about fear. Switched to autopilot, I’ll simply do it.

After all, a little bit of rain is hardly the end of the world!

Flags flapping in the storm.

Flags flapping in the storm.

This has been S for Sydney Storm for the Blogging from A-Z Challenge.

xx Rowena

20 thoughts on “A Drowned Rat in the Sydney Storm

  1. Dean B

    It doesn’t feel right to “like” this post, so I won’t. I’m just glad that you guys are all safe. We know a thing or two about how scary typhoons are back home in the Phil šŸ˜‰ Stay safe! xx

  2. roweeee Post author

    Thanks so much, Dean. Compared to those horrific typhoons you get in the Phillipines, this was nothing but it has been classed as a once in a generation storm.

  3. Tails Around the Ranch

    My goodness; glad everyone is ok and in tact for the most part. Mother Nature can be a cruel mistress at times. The beauty of storms is they depart and allow us to take stock and count our blessings. Keep smiling. šŸ™‚

  4. roweeee Post author

    Hi Monika,
    Thanks very much! I’ve just had all 35 kgs of Bilbo lying on my lap and we’ve been comforting each other while the rest of the family sleeps. I am feeling much better now. Time for bed.

  5. byrdwords

    Winds can be terrifying. We have a beach house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and hurricanes come through down there. When we go down later the place looks like a war zone. I used to live in the Tidewater area of Virgina (just to the north of us) and stupidly weathered a hurricane up there. When I saw a pine tree crush my next door neighbor’s car was the ‘oh s**t’ moment and the fun was over, so I get the idea of what that fear is. I do hope you don’t have a crushing amount of repairs to do. Take care. xx

  6. Laurie Buchanan

    Oh my blessed word!
    Holy cat’s pajamas!
    Goodness, gracious, sakes alive!

    And even after being churned around ā€” like the inside of a washing machine ā€” you still look great!

  7. TanGental

    Wow that is some storm; you need to keep indoors and out of the way of flying objects. Crazy weather and makes you realise what the Caribbean goes through most years with its hurricane season.

  8. Minuscule Moments

    Rowena you are a braver woman than I, I have been watching it all from the window. Sitting by my fire and waiting for some blue to peak through the clouds. Today the mountain has been swallowed in low cloud and the sky is a blanket of thick grey. No chance of sunshine. My cats kept us awake all night coming and going and fretting about all that rain. Okay time for a cup of tea……maybe tomorrow the sun will pay us a visit . Love your photos.

  9. roweeee Post author

    It was, wasn’t it David. I still feel rattled from it all. I took some follow-up photos down at the beach this morning, if you’re interested. Calm has almost been restored although the tracks were taped offdue to erosion and there was a large tree trunk on the sand.

  10. roweeee Post author

    Thanks, Kath. I ventured out with Geoff and the kids. Wouldn’t have gone solo. I went down to the beach after school drop off this morning and took some updated photos. Almost back to normal aside from the tracks being taped off and a large tree trunk on the sand. Great to see the sun again!!
    I ended up with Bilbo on my lap after Geoff went to bed last night. The pair of us helped settle each other. Trying to work on my blog with 35kgs of Border Collie on my lap wasn’t easy but I loved having him there.
    I love the sound of your fire! Hope you have a great day! xx Rowena

  11. roweeee Post author

    Wow, John! For an Australian storm to make the news in Canada really gives this storm legitimacy. Thanks for letting me know. I do wonder how often Australia ends up in the news overseas. Hope you are enjoying Spring. You guys have well and truly deserved it after your Winter. xx Rowena

  12. roweeee Post author

    Need to sort ours. The kids are marching in the dawn service with scouts so I think we’ll be going back to bed for the day after that. Do you have any plans for tomorrow? I photographed the service at the school today and have been chasing details re Geoff’s great Uncle who served at Gallipoli. Hope you have a good weekend. xx Rowena

  13. Minuscule Moments

    We had a service in our small community where my daughter read one of the prayers representing the school Rowena and then on to the town of Cobargo for the march. It was my sons first time as he does not deal with the crowds very well. So proud of both of them on the day. Hope yours was good too.

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