Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Getting there.

Some of you may know we started renovating!
Not something we planned.
Decided to take down the wall between the computer room and the back door. The wall was put up to make a 5th bedroom, we don't need 5 bedroom, we need a nice light room - hopefully with built-in cupboards.
Needless to say all of the office is now deposited around the house. This computer is on the kitchen table. The office chair is in the middle of the kitchen itself. The filing cabinet is next to the fridge.... mess.... so today I'm making my "in-the-middle-of-a-renovation" house habitable again. Kitchen looks lovely. Need some enthusiasm to keep going though.

Conversation with Mark

On the way to school this morning, we heard on the radio that there was a burst water main on Kooragang Island - like Newcastle needs more water - this got Mark thinking. He asked if "it was like the storm a few weeks ago?"
"Not quite Marky, what do you remember about the storm?" Thinking this is a Princess Diana or earthquake moment for Newcastle and could be put into Mark's psyche....
"It rained and then it flooded"
This is the only comment he made on his own. Five full days of rain, cars all over the road, no sport for 3 weeks, no electricity for a full day, cold and wet... all I got was "it rained and then it flooded" Oh dear!

Friday, June 22, 2007

My Storm Story

Ok its a little late, the storm in Newie was two weeks ago now, but couldn't be bothered updating blog. Friday the 8th June.....
  • It was wild and woolly day, the rain drops were so big that one drop got you wet. Mark wasn't interested in school, but I found his raincoat and dutifully sent him off to OOSH (Out Of School Hours care).
  • Mark's birthday was the following Monday (12th June) and we hadn't bought any pressies for him yet. Jamie was in desperate need of a haircut (and if you know Jamie you know its really desperate when he needs the haircut), so he went to get the haircut and I bought a fishtank and CD for the little man. Taking the pressies out the car was an experience, it was quite dark despite being 10 in the morning, the rain was incredible. Ran back into Jesy found Jamie and did a little more shopping.
  • Got home and Jamie played on his computer... I lay around watching my re-runs (I tend to record all of my favourite shows so I can re-watch).
  • Time for work - left the house at 12.45 for a 1.30pm start. I like to get to work a bit early so I can have a coffee and a catch up, need to know if I'm gonna have a bad shift or not.
  • Went to drive down our pathetic excuse for a freeway, a little stretch of road between Sandgate and Jesmond, drove around the roundabout and saw a tree was down, ok I'll drive past Jesmond Shopping Centre went there earlier and it was ok, not flooded. I was listening to ABC radio so knew that there was some flash flooding issues. There was a HUGE line up of cars, one directly in front of me and another behind me, I had no where to go. I was in the commodore - my blue one which is slightly lowered. Saw the storm water canal, it looked very full. I have never seen more than a small amount of water in them before. This was FULL and RISING. Next thing I noticed was water on the road, not only was the storm water canal full, but it was over flowing and water was about a foot deep over the road. As I said before, I couldn't go back, so I went forward and was terrified that the car would slide sideways and wash me into the drain. I got through that patch of water, it was around 50-100 meters in length, I was shaking, I checked my brakes by pumping them, luckily no water came into the car. There have been many stories of water coming over doors, over the bonnet, cars getting washed away. Eight people were killed by the rising waters, a family of 5, a couple who were washed off a bridge in Clarencetown and a man who got out of his 4WD and was washed down a storm water canal (he was the husband of a woman I met at the OOSH conference several weeks ago) Very sad.
  • I called Jamie the second I got to work and asked him to collect Mark from school, just in case roads got closed. "Nah he'll be alright" I could strangle that man sometimes. He got him at 5pm - pitch black, the road near the railway track was flooded and some cars were swimming, but he had the 4WD and was ok. Mark was a little spooked but was ok. He watched Friday Night Games and was happy.
  • Work was a bit strange... everyone kept looking out the window, trees had fallen down, but I felt out of the loop. Then it came to night duty, Lauren rang to say she will try her hardest but might be late, then I called Monika and asked if she'd be able to make it. She sounded surprised to hear from me and said yes. Ten minutes later she called back and said that all the roads were closed and she couldn't - obviously she thought about it a bit!! So I stayed for night duty. One of patients wife could not get home due to the rain, so she stayed over. Supposedly that happened a bit over the hospital. The heirachy arrived late and disaster planning started.
  • By this stage the Pasha Bulker had beached itself, there were three other ships that were pushing out to sea at full pelt with not much success (they did eventually have success)
  • Work was good. Lauren is an amazing nurse and I think she is wonderful.
  • Left work at 7.30am, all my morning staff arrived.
  • Got home, lots of trees down, cars all over the road, but no flooding. Strangely quiet and eerie feeling. Marko peeked out his bedroom window and then wouldn't leave my side.
  • Jamie didn't wake up until 10.30ish. I only had some naps throughout the day and we had NO POWER.
  • The fridge was off, the tv doesn't work, the heater is off, no kettle, no computer, no telephones (Jamie's mobile did work, mine didn't), no radio. Very strange, makes you think of how much electricity there is in the world and how 3rd world people occupy themselves. Mark wasn't coping, we played Uno, lego but the light was terrible. Jamie REALLY wasn't coping. But he did busy himself with an old car radio with the wires cut off at the back, attaching new cable, using the camp gas cooktop to heat up his soldering iron and connected it to a speaker. We tuned the radio into ABC radio and found out that we didn't have it bad. Many houses were flooded, trees down everywhere, cars destroyed and as I mentioned before people lost their life.
  • Some fun facts - we ate ice cream for breakfast so we wouldn't lose it. Found the gas cooktop we bought for camping to make cups of tea, found the camp lantern that Connie and Paul gave Jamie for Christmas so we could have light once it went dark at 4.30pm
  • We (I mean I) cooked pasta for tea.
  • By 6pm I was exhausted, so Mark and I went to bed. Jamie stayed up and made his usual phone calls - does anyone know who he talks to all the time????
  • I think we were both asleep by 6.30pm!! Weird.
  • At 10pm, Marko had gone to his own bed and Jamie had come to bed and then there was a big BBBLLLLIIIIPPPPP and the electricity came back on. We jumped up and yelled "LETS GO WATCH TV" Terrible I know!
  • Went for a drive around to look at the damage. So many trees uprooted.
  • Thursday morning we went to see the grouned ship "Pasha Bulker" and those are the photos we took.
Its now 2 weeks after that, Newcastle is healing. Still no sport. Road near Heaton Greta is finally opened, and the Pasha might get out ***unless it breaks up.