Monday, April 13, 2009

Water, Mud and Moods

Well, it's raining again, or should that be - still.

We had a flood in February, which the media made a huge fuss over and a "one in one hundred year" flood a couple of weeks ago (see left) which was much more deserving of the media attention. I know this sounds terribly cynical but the only reason I can think that the first flood received such attention is that at the time bushfires were ravaging Victoria and Queensland was having floods so of course, not to be outdone, NSW had to come up with something equally newsworthy. (sigh)

Although our house was safe, we were cut off from everywhere. Little Tree had to stay home from school for three days as the bus couldn't get though, which pleased him no end. The river came up so fast and stayed up longer than I've ever known it and the creek below our house came to within 2 feet of the garden. Mr I arrived home three and half hours late having driven the long way home in order to find a semi passable road - lucky he wasn't later or he would have had to return to the office and slept there!!!

This is why he couldn't get home....


We were without power for 24 hours - the house was so peaceful and quiet without the hum of electrical appliances and I couldn't help but smile surrounded by lantern and candlelight. Having lived in this area for little while now, we are used to having to rely on our gas camping stove for cups of tea and cooking etc. when there's no power due to storm/flood/fruit bat tangled in wires.
We lost mobile phone reception for a while too - lucky the landline still worked. Mr I, being Manager of a local communtiy service organisation received a call from one of our Councillors to check on a constituent's 90 year old Mum, so we put together a thermos for her and Mr I drove out there and was able to report back that mum was doing fine. There were lots of other stories of strangers going out of their way to help others - pity it needs a disaster to bring the community together. When we could get into town our little supermarket was running out of food - a lot had to be thrown out due to the power cut and the all the roads further out were still cut so no deliveries could be made.

The Pacific Highway was high and dry but access roads from here to our town not so lucky.

In other times it would have been quite exciting but I wasn't able to convey the problem of no power and my inability to fix it to my autistic son who was getting very distressed that he couldn't play his favourite DVDs or the computer. And during the night we had to get up to make sure a tealight candle was still burning in his room in place of his nightlight. So, it was with huge relief to have power restored and consequently a return to a happy boy.

A number of fences, roads and bridges in the area are still washed out. And drowned livestock, boats and other debris are being cleaned off the beaches. And it's still raining...

(photos courtesy of Bellingen Courier Sun)

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