The summer of #VicFloods
Roughly 2,800 kilometers to the north was where the bulls-eyes of Cyclones Anthony and later Cyclone Yasi hit landfall earlier this week. And last night it was our turn to join the ever-expanding list of Australian cities and towns hit by mother nature’s fury during the summer of 2011.
At 8pm last night, I was hungry but there was little food in the house. It was evident that the break in the rain would be just long enough to trek the 100 meters to our local beachside shopping strip in order to stock up for a weekend of being marooned. The power was out and the side streets were all flooded. Water was creeping up from roads to the edge of houses. Drains were blocked everywhere because the rain that had fallen in the last two hours was just too heavy for the drains to deal with. The shopping strip’s tenants were all busying themselves lighting candles and trying not to trip over in the dark. I went into our favourite local Chinese takeaway and found their kitchen working even though the tills and EFTPOS systems were not. I realised I didn’t have cash and with no ATMs working, was a little stuck for funds. But the staff know us quite well there so they were happy to provide me with a meal that I agreed to pay for when the power was back on. The supermarket was closed due to the flooding. Things were looking rather grim.
The overnight flooding that has bestowed many of my neighbours and much of Melbourne has spared our house, thank goodness. My immediate neighbours are now waiting for their garages floors to re-appear and their carpets to dry. I’ve told them they are welcome here for a cuppa. I have a bunch of their towels in my washing machine.
Today, I headed back to the shopping strip. I was happy to see the grog shop open because I need no encouragement to hole up at home with a few cold ones. After all, most roads in Melbourne are still flooded. No one can really get anywhere and no one should really try. The supermarket was open again although there were slim pickings. It was evident that whatever time threshold that the Health & Safety people came up with to determine when refrigerated and frozen foods must be thrown out after a power outage had passed. Bakers Delight seemed not to apply the same thresholds, so at least I was able to get some Milk.
Once again, the Twitter stream from Victoria Police is providing the most comprehensive of the rolling update services. Kudos and thanks must be given over to the VicPol comms team. They all deserve a medal for their recent efforts.
For me, this summer will go down as one remembered by the breaking of a 15 year drought and weather that makes you wonder if the Mayans who predicted the beginning of the end of the world in 2012 have been onto something all along. I will ponder this over beer and Anzac biscuits this afternoon. In the meantime, below is a gallery showing a little of the damage in our area. All these photos were taken within 200 metres of my house.
Take care everyone. And be careful. There is more on the way.