Visiting The Whitsundays

I’ve been away in the tropics. We stayed in Airlie beach then did a bit of Island hopping around the Whitsundays.

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Wow, was it hot up there. It was strange actually because the temperature has been hotter here in Newcastle but the sun up there seems to have a real bite. I could feel my skin ageing years by the second so spent a lot of time lurking about in the shade.

When we flew out it was starting to rain here and we later discovered that it had turned into a little cyclone with torrential rain. My daughter sent me a text at 3am that night saying – It’s really windy here, I’ve never been in weather like this before. And I thought – well ok, nice to let me know that in the middle of the night but I wasn’t too worried as she is a bit of a drama queen. Then she sent me another one about an hour later saying – The side fence just blew down into the lane-way, I went out to have a look but I feared for my life so left it. So then I thought, I’d better have a look at the news back home.

It was crazy. So much flooding and damage has occurred in a large area of the region. People have died, washed away in their houses, some in cars or car accidents, towns were isolated and main highways closed due to flooding. So many trees and electricity poles down on houses and cars I can’t believe more people weren’t injured. People here are still without power almost ten days later which must be very inconvenient.

We didn’t have any damage to our house. We bought it just after the last big floods they had here so when we were looking at places you could easily see which ones had suffered water damage so we avoided them.

So I was sitting up there in paradise sipping on cocktails complaining about the heat and it all seemed like another world away. When we arrived home we flew back into another storm which was a bit hairy. It was night-time as well and I don’t like flying at night at the best of times. My husband asked me at one point if all the jolting was the wheels hitting the runway but it was just us buffeting about in the air. I always wonder why people drink on one hour plane flights, like why they can’t just sit there for an hour without alcohol but maybe turbulence is the reason.

Anyway we arrived home and I was sorry I’d complained about the heat because it was freezing here and the first thing we did was drag out the gas heater. I always think I’m going to like winter much more than I actually do.

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Wet

Everyone was freaking out this week because they told us the weather this weekend was going to be like it was that weekend when the Pasha Bulker came to town. amazing photo here

Well its definitely been wet this week, but not that wet. I'm not worrying this time about the river flooding anyway. Not yet anyway, even though we've had some heavy constant rain. That Pasha weekend was the wettest, heaviest rain I've ever experienced. Constant heavy rain day after day. We kept the radio on all the time because they were going to tell us if the river was going to flood. And why do rivers always peak at such inconvenient times. They never peak at 11am do they, its always 2am. At about midnight Daz and Betty started going for walks to the levy to keep an eye on it. He said it was like a party down there. Everyone just keeping watch. I got sick of waiting and went to bed. I just woke up every now and then and tapped my foot on the floor to make sure there was no water there. Anyway they said the SES would door knock and tell us to get out and we'd put all the important stuff on top of the 10 foot wardrobes.

These are our sportsgrounds. When the water comes over that road and grass it floods into town. They built the big levy after huge floods in the fifties.

They're the same grounds where I take the photos of Lloyd playing AFL

You can see the netball goals in the background behind the guys there. And here they are after the rain.

It's a pretty high levy so you can imagine the rain we had to have to fill that huge bowl of a sports field.

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They put out a message to everyone living in the flood zone to get together a bag of their important things. So I grabbed Lulu, Pink Teddy and my favourite book, Teddy Edward Goes to The Seaside. Daz said – I think they meant things more like insurance papers and medicines!

You may remember that Lizzie had her own idea about important things.

I'm usually more worried about getting all the cats together and into baskets and up into the roof of the house or somewhere. That was when we had four cats but now we don't have any so it's not as stressful.

Last time our town was totally isolated. Surrounded by water, no one could get in our out. I started thinking it might be like a Dean Koontz story and the army would move in and we'd all catch some awful virus and people would start dying and then we'd all be put into quarantine. But that didn't happen in the end. About the worst thing that happened for us was that the bakery ran out of bread early on Sunday morning and we could only buy rolls.

But I'm off now to take the opportunity to get some washing done. There seems to be a small break appearing in the clouds.

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wet wet wet

It was a year ago that the Pasha Bulker came to town. An amazing sight. Quite a weekend. Washed right up on the beach. You can't imagine the amount of rain that came down in a 24 hour period. It was about this time I looked outside and decided it was time to get Lizzie out of school. Time to start gathering everyone. This photo is from The Newcastle Herald

 

We live in a flood zone so we spent Saturday night sitting up listening to the radio waiting to hear that the river had broken the bank. They said the SES would come door knocking if we had to evacuate. By midnight I'd had enough and went to bed. Kimba stormed in demanding to know – How could you sleep at such a time. But I was tired. And anyway I'd already packed my bag of important things like they suggested. I had in it Pink Teddy, Lulu and my book Teddy Edward Goes to The Seaside. Lizzie was fully dressed nicely with makeup on and hair done because she didn't want to turn up at the evacuation centre looking ordinary in her pyjamas.

I woke up every hour or so and put my foot out of bed and tapped it on the floor just to make sure there wasn't water there. But the banks held for us. Other areas were not so lucky. The area we live in was totally surrounded by water and we were isolated the next day. No getting in or out. The bread shop did mad business that day. All I could think was that it was like a Stephen King book and any moment now some evil army dudes were going to turn up and release a virus or something. But that didn't happen either.

These are the netball courts down the end of the road. So it was pretty deep.

 

When they said over the radio to pack a plastic bag with our important things in it I didn't even think of insurance papers and stuff like that. I did go around and take photos of all the tv's, cd's, computers and stuff. This is what I packed.

 

This is what Lizzie packed. The others didn't pack anything. Which just shows you how important 'stuff' is to people. They did put the playstation and the Xbox and games on top of the wardrobe though. Last time it flooded here in the 1950's the water only came halfway up the wall so they figured that'd be high enough.

 

Strange that we are having rain and wind again this week. People are a little nervous. But its only rain. Apparently the next flood will be between the 15th and 22 December. There's a guy in New Zealand who predicts these things very accurately. He said then the banks will break. So thats going to put a damper on christmas. Oh, lol excuse the pun.

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