Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Big Storm

Parts of southern New South Wales were ravaged by a violent storm in the early hours of Sunday morning. The area including the Illawarra and Wollongong and the Shoalhaven on the south coast have been declared a natural disaster zone by the state Emergency Services Minister.
The State Emergency Service is responding to 800 outstanding calls for help in the Illawarra and on the NSW south coast after wind gusts of up to 120 kilometres per hour ripped through coastal towns and villages.
Electricity supplier Integral Energy says 100,000 customers lost power during the storm and 9,000 homes and businesses remain without electricity.
It could take many days to restore power to some outlying areas.
We suffered no property damage but there are some mighty big trees down around us.
We have spent two days repairing fences and chainsawing downed smaller trees and branches. Some fallen trees are so big they will never be completely cleared.
There is at least 10 years firewood now lying on the ground.
We just got the electricity back on at lunch time today so that was three and half days without power. Apart from no light and communications that meant no pump (so no shower, toilets or domestic water), no cooking (apart from the BBQ) and no refrigeration (we buried the contents of our freezer on Monday evening). The up side was we could eat out every night. Once power had been restored in Ulladulla on Monday evening the restaurants were pretty busy.
There was of course a shortage of ice and portable lighting.
Anyway we are glad no one was hurt and that we have 'survived'.
It was the worst storm I have been through in my twenty years on the coast. The co driver said the sound of the wind reminded her of tornados in the mid west of USA

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