Saturday, 27 March 2010

The great storm

We got an interesting welcome to Western Australia last Monday 22nd March. Storms had been predicted, but we didn't expect anything very exciting after the amazing displays that Singapore produces. Imagine our surprise when the worst storms in 16 years devastated the whole Perth area.

It was the first one at around 2pm which caused the most damage, with hailstones the size of golf balls leaving cars looking like... well, golf balls, and killing and injuring a lot of the endangered black cockatoos. No serious human injuries thank goodness. So we watched that one blow over in about 20 minutes, then a couple of hours later the next wave hit.

This one gave us about 45 minutes of constant lightning and thunder, and dropped 5cm of (mostly horizontal) rain in just half an hour, causing major flooding, and a landslide from Jacob's Ladder (see the day and night photos in the previous post? They were taken from Jacob's Ladder) filled the first 3 storeys of the Adelphi Hotel next door to where we're staying with mud from the hillside. The residents spent the night in the Perth Convention Centre, and one of our blocks was in danger of being evacuated as well. Power was iffy, the basements and restaurant were flooded, and there was a fire engine pumping out the water. We couldn't get out in either direction, we couldn't eat in the restaurant, and ended up eating an interesting meal concocted from the little food we'd bought.

There was a final racket and deluge at 3am, but you could tell its heart was no longer in it by then. Luckily for all concerned.

Here are some links to the landslide at Jacob's Ladder and some photos of the damage around.

Here are some photos that I took of the hail:

And the dark sky:

 And the damage in our basement car park:

Thankfully not ours:

The clean-up is expected to cost A$100 million, with A$78,000 in insurance claims being submitted in the very first day. A few days later it's dried up, but there's a lot of sand, mud and branches about, and many of the poor trees are looking very unhappy. It's going to take a while for Perth to get back to normal.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

what a welcome! I am really glad you are both ok. As soon as I saw it on the news I texted Georgina to see if she had heard anything from you - as my computer was MIA.great photos, but glad you are safe.
Take care, Enjoy your new home.
kel x