Cyclone Olwyn

It’s been an interesting few days to say the least.  Late Thursday 12th and through to Friday 13th March we were directly in the path of Severe Tropical Cyclone Olwyn, a category 3 cyclone with wind gusts up to 185kmh.  We had a couple of days warning so had time to remove garden furniture and loose objects from around the house, stock up on food and water, locate torches and buy spare batteries.

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It’s just as well that we were prepared as we lost power at 8.20pm and didn’t get it back for 2 days.  There are two small supermarkets in Exmouth and the ceiling of the larger one collapsed so that is still closed a few days after the cyclone and the smaller supermarket is already out of perishables like milk as no deliveries have been able to get through.

The night of the cyclone was pretty scary, with the winds howling around, the rain thundering down and the house shaking. I did some sketchbook work to record the event and have loads of photos that may be the source for future projects.

Fairly obvious but yes, a cyclone is just like this!

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This next page is the thoughts that were going through my head during the night. I wrote them down by torchlight as they came to me.

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One of the worst moments was about 1am when there was a loud metallic tearing noise and then the sound of metal banging; recogniseable as part of the roof being torn up. There was a feeling of complete helplessness and of being at the mercy of the elements as there was nothing that could be done; we were on red alert and it was simply too dangerous to even open the front door to have a look.  Fortunately the rain had dropped by then so the house remained dry even though a section of roof lifted.  It is now held in place by nails and duct tape while we wait for the builders to work through their long list of houses needed repair work.

The image that came into my mind was of the roof being peeled back by one of those can openers on the side of corned beef tins, so this is the collage I did:

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I may yet add some words from newspaper clippings to the collage but as there have been no newspapers in town for 4 days that will have to wait!

There is so much damage to the garden it is sad, but we are fortunate that the only damage was to objects and not people.

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