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Monday, November 17, 2008

Off topic - Storm Damage

For all you lucky people who didn't get cyclonic winds and flash flood amounts of rain this time yesterday (5pm), I thought I'd share a little bit of what happened at our place in SE Queensland, Australia.

It only lasted about 15 minutes, but we got more rain than we've had over the past year and anything not nailed down got blown away. The rain was going pretty much horizontal, but kept changing direction as wind gusts came from everywhere.

Since these photo's were taken in the dark without a flash (~6-7 pm), and I'm not the steadiest hand, they are pretty blurry.

We were lucky: we had limbs removed from trees and a couple of them uprooted, but no severe property damage.

In comparison, people down the road had their garage crushed, with their car inside. On the news right now we're hearing worse stories: people with their roof torn off, one house cut neatly in half by a tree...

Interesting short story: we own a few Chinese Silky Chickens, and the black one (the oldest) has been sleeping on the ground for months (too old and/or lazy to get up on the perch). But yesterday when we put them away, she was already on the perch: this is significantly different from her normal behavior: she's got a nest on the ground she normally sleeps in. Had she stayed on the ground, she would have got soaked and may have died in the cold (She's more than 18 years old: that's impressive for a chook). And shes on the ground again tonight. Who needs weather forecasters? We've got chooks.

OK, I'm done. Cheers!


  1. I'm glad you're alright, that storm would probably freak the hell out of me.

    I had a grandma in Italy who had a bunch of chickens and I remember them being pretty dumb, I would have never thought them smart enough to hide from a storm lol.

  2. I live on the edge of a forest, so I see the damage every time a storm pulls through. We rarely get such strong weather here though. They cut down the badly damaged trees for safety, but of course heavy branches demolish some cars occasionally. Not so long ago, someone was actually killed when a tree fell onto their car while they were driving. That's some bad luck.

  3. Wow! -

    We're not unfamiliar with tornado damage in my part of the 'fly-over' country, but sounds like you had some pretty bad damage there.

    I'm glad you're OK and hope that no-one was hurt! Property can be replaced (even 'chooks').

    Here's hoping you can recover quickly from this damage. Take care.

  4. Q,

    That looks like a nicely secluded property you have there.

    I'm glad you are OK.

    We had just built a new house in 2004 and moved in. We didn't put it on a basement because of all the springs on the property and I hadn't built a shelter yet.

    On as unday afternoon my son and I were home when all of a sudden out of the west came a howling storm and we recieved a tornado watch.

    we were standing in the front living room looking west and the wind went nuts. It was almost dark and we couldn't see much but I could hear tree limbs cracking and stuff.

    The house is pretty sturdy but I knew that most frame houses can't stand a direct hit from a tornado. I was getting a bit nervous for my son who credulously asked, "hey Dad! what do we do if we get a tornado" to which I resonded, "I hate to tell you this but you are standing very neart a tornado right now and if you want to be as safe as possible you should go into the small bathroom get in the tube and cover up with a matress."
    He just said, "I'm staying here with you."

    About an hour later everything settle down and the rain quit so we went out with flashlights. There were huge trees down all around us but our house didn't lose a shingle.
    I gues we dodged a bullet on that one.

  5. Felix, Stew,

    what towns do you live in, if I may ask.
    My ancestors came from Feiburg Germany, very close to the French border.

  6. Glad to hear you and the chooks are safe, Quasar.

    I really love the look of the land you're living on. I'd kill for something equivalent (that, you know, was near enough to civilization that I wouldn't be forced into villany to make a living).

  7. Felix, Stew,
    By the way, The town, not too far from where I presently live, that the ol boys settled in, they named Fryburg- not surprising, and they built a Catholic Church, St Joseph's on the top of the hill modeled after the (one of) church (s) in Freiburg Germany.

  8. Thanks for the comments guys.

    They're saying it was the worst thunderstorm to hit South East QLD in 15-30 years: a supercell. There have been a number of reports of tornado's, too, but none have yet been confirmed. Storms are common in Australia, but twisters are extremely rare.

    So far, according to the radio, over 400 homes have been reported with severe damage and at least 30 have been declaired un-liveable.

    Sadly, there's been at least one fatality: a Uni student drowned after being washed into a drain by the flooding.

    There is one upshot, though: we really need the water: the last few years have been the dryest in Australian history. Bloody climate change. Bloody people! (Obscure reference)

  9. Glad to hear you and your family are okay Quasar.

  10. Glad you're okay. Keep safe so you can write the foreword to Ray's next book.

    What's the area you live in like?

  11. We just got heavy rain out at Mt Crosby, with one tree across lines at Anstead.

  12. Thanks again all!

    Geoff: I live in the suburbs, about 60km's away from the city. When we first moved here about 10 years ago it was rural, but the suburbs sort of engulfed it sometime between now and then.

    It's 2 acres, and mostly trees: several large gums, quite a bit of wattle scrub, a 'rainforest' up the one side and a bunch of fruit trees next to the driveway. Our house is sort of hidden in the middle, invisible from the road.

    It's normally bright and sunny, but we get a couple of thunderstorms each summer.

    Oh, and it's amazing the number of animals and birds two acres can support. Hmmm... I hope the wildlife will come back after the storm... but we haven't found any victims, and if our chickens are anything to go by they were probably prepared for it. :)

  13. froggie, I live near Angouleme over near the Atlantic coast.

  14. froggie,
    I live in Berlin; if you look at a map of Berlin, I live in the southwest where the green forest area begins, east of the lakes. It's close to the '115' label in my link.
    Some of my relatives live in the area near Freiburg too. It's a very beautiful, scenic area of Germany (Black Forest), great to go hiking or long-distance skiing in winter.

  15. seems my map link isn't working. A shortcut is typing 'Schmargendorf' into a google map.

  16. Thanks guys. I like to see where folks are located.


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