Saturday, October 27, 2007

Blown Away

...Or not quite, in our case.

This morning, as we wandered up and down our village and wondered at the varying degrees of destruction and damage, it dawned on me how incredible lucky we had all been.

Looking at the double-brick church, three of its four sides punched out as if by a giant fist, or the pancake-flat school building, or the roofing tin wrapped around tree trunks like contemporary sculpture, I had to marvel that no-one was injured or killed.

Yesterday afternoon at 4pm, as kids still ambled down the street from school, and parents waited in cars for the buses that usually arrived with the students who travelled to town for school, a mini-tornado tore through our village, Dunoon.

One minute, we were eyeing off an approaching thunderstorm. Another, and I began to sense something was wrong, shutting doors and windows frantically while taking the wee man and the pooch into the living room at the core of the house...and putting the wee feller under the (very sturdy) coffee table. Before I even had time to wonder at this instinct, the roaring fury of the storm took all thought. I looked towards the french doors that led onto the verandah, as almost gently the trees outside fell towards us, blocking much of the light and force. The rain was being driven under the doors, straight across the floor.

I realised our bedroom windows were still open, and struggled into the room to close them. The rain and wind were driving sideways through the room, soaking the bed in the minute or so the storm had been over us. The door latch stuck when I tried to go back out, and for a fraught moment I thought I might be trapped in the room - luckily another desperate tug, and I was back out to my boys who were bravely cuddling together and happy to have me back.

Minutes later, the worst was over, and we began to peek out. It was astounding how much damage was done in that short time, and how little of it we had heard or expected - the storm was just one great roar, and the thuds and thunder you'd expect with trees uprooted and flung were lost in its immensity.

We've had 24 hours of living in our own little Ground Zero. Emergency services, SES, and volunteers worked till about 10.30 last night clearing the roads, the downed lines, and the most dangerous of the debris. First thing this morning, we emerged to look at the new face of our world, reworked by nature.

(I would write more, but am more than a little tired...wonder why?!? Spent the day taking these photos and waiting for the electricity to come back so I could get on here and blog it...!)


Red Dirt Mummy said...

Oh My Gosh! We saw this on the news last night, I can't believe we were watching your little piece of the world. I'm so glad you had no damage (beyond trees, etc) and that you are all safe.

mountainmama said...

Thanks,'s pretty surreal, isn't it!? I had trouble believing it when I watched it on the news, especially Judy's footage of the twister approaching.
Still an incredible amount of mess to clear up - the constant background noise of front-loaders and wood-chipping machines continues.

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