Tuesday, March 28, 2017

DEBBIE DOES BOWEN...AIRLIE BEACH...AND PROSERPINE....







In the comment section of my previous post, Jenny from the blog "English Travel Writer"  (on my blog list to the right) kindly showed concern for my safety after she saw/read reports about Cyclone Debbie that hit the Queensland coast yesterday, Tuesday.  Below is a copy of my response to Jenny's kind enquiry.....

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-29/cyclone-debbie-bom-downgrade-fears-mount-for-queensland-towns/8393914

http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/destruction-caused-by-cyclone-debbie-revealed-on-wednesday-morning/news-story/b25eab2c1d771250cf05c9eac55ba3d1


With an area of 1,727,000 square kilometres, Queensland is the second largest state in Australia. The biggest is Western Australia. Queensland is nearly five times the size of Japan, seven times the size of Great Britain, and two and a half times the size of Texas.



Cyclone Debbie crossed the coast around noon yesterday (Tuesday) - making landfall, near Airlie Beach, just south of the township of Bowen (all familiar areas to me....I spent 13 years in the North Queensland and have written article about those various areas in which I lived and worked in over the years).

Where I live now, Tamborine Mountain, is in South-East Queensland - in the Gold Coast Hinterland - Mount Tamborine is over 1000kms south from those townships mentioned above. We had perfect weather here yesterday, as is normal when cyclones are further up north sucking everything into the "eye". 

Now it's turned into a rain depression, heading southwards. We, down this way are expected to receive the aftermath...heavy rains starting probably in the early hours of tomorrow (Thursday) morning or late tonight...lasting for a couple of days.

Flood warnings are presently in force...flooding is expected to extend over an area of 13000 kilometres.

Significant damage was caused up in those areas within Cyclone Debbie's destructive path. The damage is only
now beginning to unfold as daylight arrives.  Flooding, of course, is a worry. More will be learned of the extent of the damage as the day progresses.

Much of the area affected is also a "food bowl" so crops such as tomatoes, capsicums (peppers), rockmelons and honeydews etc., and much more were affected. As was the sugar cane which the area is noted for.

Yesterday, from the early hours of the morning, I watched television all day...following everything as it unfolded. I believed the resilient folk who live up in those areas deserved my respect and concern. I felt obliged, in the best possible way, to keep abreast of everything that was occurring minute by minute. 

While phones up that way were still operating I spoke with a couple of friends to let them know they were in my thoughts. When things settle down a bit I will phone them again a little later in the hope I can get through and are able to speak with them. At present, I am unable to get through, so obviously their phone lines are out of action.

My memories of my time on Newry Island when Cyclone Joy decided to pay me a visit during Christmas 1990 were foremost in my mind all through yesterday.  I wrote a lengthy post/story about that particular event back in December, 2015. Every minute detail came flooding back to me yesterday. Cyclones certainly are memorable!

However, the North Queensland locals are a good-humoured, spirited mob...they are resilient and they take everything in their stride.  They don't whinge and complain...they just get on with it.  They retain their sense of humour throughout, and then in the aftermath, they knuckle down and bound together...heads down, bums up and they get the job done.  They are to be admired.


Addendum - Friday Morning....31st March:-

 http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/debbies-aftermath-brings-wild-weather-and-chaos-to-queenslands-southeast-20170330-gva2q5.html

 We received a hell of a lot of rain throughout yesterday into the night.  It commenced raining here late Wednesday night, and then continued bucketing down.  It was heavy and nonstop.  

Areas here in South-East Queensland received anywhere between approx., 100mm (4inches) to approx., 300mm (12 inches) or more rain in 24 hours or so.  There was no stopping the water from falling out of the sky!  The winds were strong.  

Here on Tamborine Mountain the rain ceased around 11 pm last night, Thursday night.   
At 4 am this morning gale force winds arrived hoping to make their swansong or unwanted, uninvited encore.  The wind was blowing with forces, but, fortunately, within 15 minutes decided it was not receiving any  applause for its song and dance, so it came to the sensible conclusion that the best thing to do was to fade away.

Queensland has had quite a week!! 

23 comments:

  1. They keep calm and carry on but they do with their heads down and their bums up!
    Oh you Aussies, I admire you all!

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    1. Hey there, Kay. Yep! We sure are a weird mob us Aussies...weird in the nicest of ways! ;)

      It's a bit of a mess up that way at present. It could've been much worse. Debbie dared them...and the locals up there took on the challenge and stared her down!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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    2. Do you remember that movie "They're a Weird Mob" ? You just reminded me of it with your description of us to Kay. Now I want to see it again. I'll put it on after the news.

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  2. I am watching and waiting as the damage is revealed, but confident that we will survive. All Australia is behind those affected. And I am waiting to hear from a blogging friend in Mackay. I suspect she is without power, and hope the damage is no worse.

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    1. Hi EC...yes, I made comment re this on your response to my "Words for Wednesday" on River's blog.

      Phone lines are down in that area, including Mackay and its surrounding areas. I've tried to ring a couple of my friends up that way this morning...in Collinsville and in Mackay...to no avail. Fortunately, I spoke with them yesterday morning...one in Collinsville and the others in Grasstree Beach just south of Mackay.

      Collinsville, which is about 84kms west of Bowen, copped a big blow through last night...so they're out of action there for a while.

      The only people whinging about it are the damn tourists, not the locals. I uttered a few choice words yesterday when I heard one wanker say..."I worked for a year to save up for this holiday and this is what I ended up with!" Oh! The poor bugger. He should've done his homework, stayed home or gone elsewhere. After all, this is still cyclone season in Queensland!

      Some people have no clue...Mother Nature controls us...it's not the other way around, folks!!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  3. Holding my breath and crossing my fingers for all of you that the damage is not too severe. The pictures on the news were horrendous.

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    1. Hi Delores...the costs will be high...but the people will bounce back. They never give up without a fight...and they usually come out the winners, because most of them are already winners. :)

      Thanks for your concern. :)

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  4. It certainly does not appear to be good news from the far north, but I haven't read the latest news. I will be interested to learn how cyclone resistant buildings stood up as against older buildings. Theory and practice can be very different.

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    1. As long as the people stood up to it, that's the main thing, to my way of thinking, Andrew.

      From what I've learned so far this morning, the newer buildings - those built from 1985 onwards since the new building requirements/code came in - have withstood the carnage, but it's the older buildings that have suffered most of the damage.

      It's still early days...rescue crews etc., are still having major problems getting around to see what's gone on...and what the amount of destruction is in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie.

      Thanks for coming. :)

      The kangaroos are already out and about grazing among the debris. They probably did without a feed yesterday. :)

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  5. Great post Lee ..... I too have been through cyclones and my heart goes out to all in the areas affected. What a pounding they took. Debbie was so slow moving. Hour after hour she just pounded away. Terrifying!! As for the wanker worried about his holiday he saved a year for ..... tough, mate ...... go anyway and help the people out with a bit of manpower!! Naturally that wouldn't be to his liking.

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    1. Hi Charlie...when I saw that fellow on TV yesterday and heard his whinging, he made me really angry. I would've liked to have been standing there beside him!!! He would've soon got the message!

      That was what was most concerning about Debbi, I think - the slowness of her making up her mind...she was hanging around so long...and then when she stalled early yesterday morning that increased concerns. It's always a big worry when they do that.

      Like me, you know what it's like to be around when a cyclone decides to pay a visit. They certainly keep us on our toes when they decide to come out to play! lol

      Thanks so much for coming by. :)

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  6. Last night on the news I watched a channel 7 reporter stand steady as the wind whipped his hair around on his head, and behind him, sheets of galvanised iron were blown off roofs like they were tissue paper. We get destructive winds down here, but nothing as bad as that and not the flooding either. I remember thinking last night the price of fruit and veg would be going up and now I'm wondering about meat as well. Most of our supermarket meat now comes prepacked from Queensland, which I think is wrong, we've got perfectly good cows down here and plenty of out-of-work butchers, but that's the way Coles and Woolies have played it, so that's what we've got.
    Anyway, I hope your friends are okay, and everyone else too of course and hope any damage can be quickly fixed, although flooded things usually need replacing instead because of the mould.

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    1. It will take a long time to fix up all the damage up that way, River. The extent of it is just all unfolding now. They've a hard, long road a head to get things back to what they were on Monday...before Debbie decided to pay her catastrophic visit yesterday. There's not much anyone can do for the present though until things calm down. No power....no phones...access is extremely difficult to the affected areas...but they'll get on with it as soon as they can. A navy ship filled with supplies and equipment sailed north out of Brisbane today.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  7. Thank goodness no one lost their life.
    Listening to the news as I write - dreadful in so many places was Debbie, certainly left her mark.
    Last time we travelled to Cairns there was a cyclone that summer, then the same this time. It tells me something!

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    1. Yep...it tells you it's cyclone season, Margaret. :) November through to April is cyclone season in Queensland.

      She sure has caused much destruction, but as you say, thankfully, no lives have been lost...none that anyone is aware of at present, anyway...and I hope it stays that way.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  8. Aye it gets a bit blowy under a cyclone.
    But worry not, I'm all right!

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    1. It pleases me to know that, Adullamite.

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  9. Sounds like you've "weathered the storm." Ha ha. Seems like I remember seeing videos of flooding there in Australia during one of these hurricanes. Maybe Peter posted it years ago. It did look scary. We had a big storm here in Michigan a little over a month ago, the worst one ever for the power company who had to call out crews from other states to get everyone restored. Our own power was out for 24 hours. There were trees toppled, siding torn off and one tree laying atop a house in our subdivision, but no major damage or injuries.

    Getting ready to finish watching On The Beach, set in Australia and with a not so happy ending for the folks there. Ever see it?

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    1. Hi Dave....re "On the Beach"...movie based on Neville Shute's novel...yes, I've seen it a couple of times. It was big news when it was being filmed here in Australia. Having the head-line cast members such as the wonderful Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire and Anthony Perkins here in Australia caused quite a stir at the time. (If it is the original 1959 move you're watching, and not the 2000 remake).

      The premise of the story was very frightening at the time...and it still is. Somethings we will never get comfortable with....if you know what I mean.

      There is still much flooding down in the lower areas and it will remain for some time yet from all accounts. Up here on Tamborine Mountain we're all fine. Some folk probably have suffered from fallen trees and/or branches etc., but around here where I live everything appears to be intact, thank goodness.

      It was some weather system Cyclone Debbie decided to bring us, that's for sure!

      I finally managed to get through to a couple of my friends who live up in the north...who had been in the cyclones path...their phones are finally back on, but not their power. Fortunately, they are okay and suffer no damage to their properties.
      Thanks for coming by, Dave and for your comment.

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  10. Yep, typical Queensland Easter weather. Glad you are OK up on the top of your mountain.

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    1. Yes, thanks, Helsie. Everything is okay here where I am...we sure did cop a lot of rain throughout Thursday into the night. Luckily, no leaks appeared in my cabin and the roof remained undamaged during the strong winds.

      Folk elsewhere throughout our wonderful state and in the northern areas of New South Wales haven't been as fortunate. So much damage and heartbreak suffered by many. We keep saying they're a resilient lot, and once again, they're proving this to be correct.

      I'm glad to learn that you are okay, to, Helsie. I lived in Brisbane for 14 years...and was living in Toowong when the 1974 flood decided to play its games. We sent everyone home from work at noon on the Friday (and we didn't return to our workplace until the following Wednesday, not that we knew that would be the case at the time, on the Friday.

      Even in that early stage of the event Milton Road and Coronation Drive were already under flood waters in a couple of sections. O had to go via Rainworth to get to Toowong.

      On the Friday night water from the Enoggera Dam was released...and then, from Saturday afternoon forward all hell broke loose...and the rest is history!

      Fortunately, I my unit in Toowong was safe from the flooding...but thousands of other people weren't during that devastating flood.

      Thanks for coming by, Helsie. :)

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  11. I don't think anyone who has been through the horror and terror of a cyclone can feel anything but anguish when hearing about that Beast Debbie. A farm house between Proserpine and Bowen, in which I spent many happy hours in the 60s and 70s has gone, the farmers crop and sheds are gone. But the family are OK, together and strong. So many, many people suffering - I'm glad you are safe and well on your mountain.

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    1. G'day, Pauline...you're so right...and you understand. And you know that area up there, too. One can never take cyclones for granted....they run their own race, that is for sure.

      Thanks for coming by....and thanks for your caring thoughts. :)

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