Cyclones, Floods and Mayhem

Squids In

What a way to start the long weekend in Newcastle. In the past 24 hours we’ve had a category 1 cyclone rip through and its about to return tonight. In Newcastle City itself a Bulk Carrier ship the Pasha Bulker has run aground on Nobbys Beach, Hunter and King Streets have flooded and heaps and heaps of power lines have either been blown out of the ground or knocked over by falling trees. The roads are strewn with crap including abandoned cars and water justs lays everywhere. Stroud is stranded by floodwaters and everyone is living at the pub.

Our backroom got flooded last night so I was up to my elbows in mud trying to dig trenches to get the water away from the house. Where we live we are on the lower side of a hill so everyones water from the houses above comes cascading over our back garden.

We were without power all last night and still this morning so when I got up I thought it would be a good idea to head down to Warners Bay Maccas and get some brekky plus some hot water for our 11month olds bottle. Bad Idea! Warners Bay roundabout had cars strewn everywhere and crap covering the roads so I guess they got plenty of flood water there last night. I found out on the radio then that there wasnt many suburbs with power.

Then heading home I went up Hillsborough road and there was more of the same. The creek had broken its banks and fllood waters had landed cars in peoples backyards, fences were gone and to top it all off there were some poor buggers in the Hillsborough Dog club that were packing up after camping there the night. That would have been a nightmare in a tent. I wish I took my camera, but my belly was only thinking about breakfast, not what had happened overnight. I slept through all the excitement.

    Squids Ink

Went on a recon mission this arvo for supplies when I heard that Belmont Coles had power. The place was packed!! Every register was open and had a line up about 20 deep. While I was out I decided to get a few shots of the floods and destruction.

This is Squids ink Jetty flooded over. You can see below what it usually looks like:

Squids Ink

The lake levels have risen substantially overnight as the water cant get out through the heads at Swansea due to the 5 metre swell. All around the lake the water is lapping at the roadsides. If you try and work out how much extra water is in the lake, at say 1m of water across the entire surface……Thats a hell of a lot of water!!

Squids Ink 2

Another View from the carpark.

Belmont Bay

Belmont Bay
Another jetty under water and the lake joining the land.

Belmont
These lakefront houses have the lake lapping at their back doors. In the distance you can see the 16 footers

Belmont South Street

The lake has risen so much that this flooded low lying street in Belmont South has disappeared. The cars in the distance are about 20 metres away from the lakes edge.

Overall the past 24hours have been absolute mayhem. My one question I have about it is, with all the emergency services stretched to their absolute limits, where is the Army, RAAf and Navy in all this. With the Hunter Valley and Central Coast now declared a natural disaster zone and as Australia isn’t in war times, why isn’t the idle armed forces and their massive resources, deployed to good use helping out. Our Army gets deployed overseas when these disasters happen overseas so why not locally. I thank that a flood as widespread as this deserves help.

My hat goes off to all the people who are out working in these atrocious conditions, SES, Firemen, Police, Energy Australia and Tree Loppers, you have done, and I’m sure will continue to do a marvellous job at returning things to working order.

Check out my buddy Matt Packer’s Photoblog to see more photos of the floods and mayhem. He has some pearlers of the Ship aground at Nobbys beach.

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