Blow me down

I know that I ranted about the weather only last week, but oh-my-god last night was crazy. There was a storm like no storm I have seen in my three decades of living here (less a few years down the line at university). I realise that to some of you, this kind of weather is nothing out of the ordinary, but for us, it’s a really big deal.

The storm last night brought the city to it’s knees. I had to drop a friend home at around 9pm. There were no cars on the road. There was traffic though… emergency vehicles. Around every corner were firetrucks or cranes taking trees off powerlines and houses. It seemed like every second suburb was in blackout.

I had a text from a friend who watched the 50-odd-year-old tree beside her house get ripped out by it’s roots and thrown off the cliff into the ocean. Another friend is trapped in his house because 5 trees have come down along his street.

We were pretty much unaffected. There is a bank of trees that was protecting us from the prevailing wind. It just seemed much colder than usual. I was grateful that Chico wasn’t still lost somewhere in the night.

The harbour bridge was closed (for the second time in my lifetime) because people were being blown off their motorbikes. (The first time was after a paint spill.) Street lights were out all over town because of the power cuts. The radio was warning people not to leave their houses.

This morning was eerie. It was calm and still but there was carnage everywhere. People’s gates are lying in their front yards. There are piles of rubbish bins stacked against cars, where they’ve been blown. Someone had filled a bin on the corner with shredded paper. It had been carried all over the street.

From far off it looked like snow. From close up it looked like the remains of a disaster.

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