Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The recent NSW storm

    Recently, on Monday morning, it started raining. In the afternoon and night there was a heavy downpour with extremely high wind. It has rained for 48 hours.
    At Tuesday morning, the power went out(I should have written the article then, but the computer had been left on overnight, and was out of batteries). As soon as the power came back, I went to the computer to see the news of the storm. It was no surprise that we had a blackout, because the wind was so strong and gusty that the bay was full of white foam and 4-meter waves. Some of them were crashing halfway up Box Head.
A tree fallen over parked cars

    It turned out that Umina by far didn't take the worst of the storm. It had affected all of Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast(in between Sydney and Newcastle) and the Hunter region(slightly inland, north of Newcastle).
    One town, Dungog, has suffered the worst. 3 people were killed and 4 houses were swept away by floods. Buses and cars have been lost when driving into flood waters. The whole town has been evacuated during the flood.
The powerful wind of the storm blew the sand
of Bondi Beach into the streets.

    The effect on other places is also significant. The Paterson River reached a record height on Tuesday and burst its banks. Yachts have been observed being pounded against the breakwater in Brisbane Water at Gosford by the waves, and a cruise ship could not enter Sydney harbour because of the bad weather.
    200,000 homes and businesses lost power for at least two hours on Tuesday because of trees falling on power lines. A power outage happened at the local wastewater plant, which caused tons of half-treated wastewater to enter the ocean. The beaches at the Central Coast will not open for a few days because of this.
A house being swept away by the floods

    There have also been problems with the local transport services. Many train lines were closed during power shortages, and highways have been blocked by fallen trees.
    The winds of most of the storm are classified as 10-12 on the Beaufort scale.

"For many students across New South Wales this was the first week of a new term. But children from more than 100 schools woke up on Tuesday to discover that they would be staying home for the day, as wild winds and torrential rain continued to pummel parts of the state...The state emergency services have now responded to over 4,500 calls and completed 47 flood rescues since weather conditions worsened Monday morning...Two hundred and fifty traffic lights are out across the state...a line of storms moves very slowly southwards across the region...As the storm intensifies across parts of New South Wales, we continue to witness the fury being unleashed on towns and suburbs, including pulling down signs, trees and rooftops...With power cuts to 200,000 homes across New South Wales and over 4,500 reports of hazards and wires down across the network due to the wild weather, Ausgrid are reporting it may take 'several days' to repair the damage."
(theguardian, Tuesday April 21)

    The impact on my neighborhood includes fallen trees and damaged wires. Unfortunately, most of the trash has washed off the streets and into the creeks and wetlands. I hope someone cleans it up, because it is Earth day.

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