Sunday, 6 February 2011

Blogging after Yasi

Back online!  Quite a strange sensation I must say.

The power came on at home at about 4:30 this afternoon - the cause of many hoots and whistles and yelps up and down the street. 

We now have all of the essentials back on - water, power and ferries.  We had supermarket bread this afternoon (Steve the local baker will hopefully be baking tomorrow night).  High school opens tomorrow but the Island primary school (where I spent most of today) will be closed for one more day as the trucks continue to take away the green waste from the grounds..  Milk and maybe meat will land on the island tomorrow.  The beer supply is low again and the limited choice is critical.

The espresso machine is roaring again - the first appliance turned on and a long black the first electricity drawn from the grid!

There's lots of stories to tell from the last five days but they'll have to wait for now. I'm buggered and going to bed.  Normality of sorts returns in the morning.


Stop Murdoch said...

Good to see you back and safe.

Please let us know if "Wally" made it!

We put the following extract on during the worst of it when we were being told nobody could have predicted such a storm, ha ha ha!:

"Category Five Cyclone Slamming Into Queensland: "Nobody Predicted This"

'Underground' by Andrew McGahan [Allen & Unwin 2006]:

... Its name was Yusuf.

Probably a joke by someone in the Department of Meteorology. Or maybe that's just official policy now. A state of emergency decree from the government. If something looks big and dangerous, then find a means to link it to Islam.

Either way, it was surely the biggest cyclone to hit that part of the Queensland coast in decades - a great-granddaddy of a tropical storm. Category five. Winds gusting over two hundred and ninety; walls of horizontal rain, like Allah himself was pissing in your face; and a storm surge that had lifted the Pacific Ocean by twenty murderous feet or more.

I was right there in the middle of it all. Six storeys up, my belly on the tiles and one arm wrapped around the balcony railing, hanging on for dear life as I peered over the edge, nearly deafened by the unearthly shriek of the wind. My face stinging. My slotted eyes agonised. The rest of me drenched. With a whisky glass clutched in my free hand, holding more sea water now than alcohol.

Below me, three years of work was being steadily destroyed. The artificial beach had been the first to go. Huge waves loomed there now, their crests torn into a brown froth that streaked ahead wildly. I couldn't even tell where the beach had been anymore. Hundreds of dump trucks had emptied thousands of tonnes of white sand down there (it cost a fortune) but now it was all just part of the raging ocean.

Even drunk and half-terrified as I was, I could appreciate the irony. Leave the mangroves alone, the environmentalists had said. Leave the dunes behind them alone. They had protested and petitioned and chained themselves to bulldozers - and gone to prison for their troubles. But what did I or my investors care? We wanted a pristine beach for the punters, not mudflats. We wanted open ocean views from the rooms, not the backs of old dunes covered with scrub. So I'd let the construction company loose to rip out the mangroves and level the frontage.

Three years later, the environmentalists were all long gone, no doubt locked up for good these days, but Yusuf was teaching me a lesson. The storm surge had drowned most of the resort. The beach and, behind that, the lawns and gardens and pathways that led to it. Wreckage floated everywhere. The four-acre pool was underwater, with its cabanas and bars, as were the tennis courts, the croquet pitch, and, from what I could see, a fair percentage of the championship links golf course. But what was truly awesome was that the great muddy waves were rolling clear over the lot of it, two hundred metres or more from the normal coastline, and slamming like thunder into the resort's main buildings...."

Island View said...

Thanks for checking in SM. All is good and eventually I'll do a postscript to the Yasi night post with observations from the days since.

In the meantime, my penciled notes say:

"8:30am Thur 03/02 Wally has come in for a feed but he's very skittish - wide-eyed and altert to every change in the sound of the still strong wind. It's good to know he's ok."

So, I can once again ask aloud and without fearing the worst: "Where's Wally"

Island View said...

SM - ps: I loved the quote from Andrew McGahan along with this this post by Ken Parish at Club Troppo this morning:

lyn said...

Hi Island View,

We are all so happy you are safe.

"The Political Sword" and all our commenters were watching you closely when you were Blogging Yassi.