What an interesting summer we are having here in Oz. I hope the subject line has told you we are not talking craft today...
Three quarters of Queensland was/is flooded.
Cyclone Anthony had a go at Perth (the only major city on the western coast of Oz).
Cyclone Yasi (category 5, not quite as big as Katrina but jeez she worked on it) hit the parts of Queensland that weren't really affected by the earlier floods.
Now Cyclone Anthony, who has devolved to just being a low pressure system has dumped well over three inches of rain on us this evening after wandering across the southern part of Australia. He's the colourful blur near the bottom of the continent.
(copyright 2011 Commonwealth of Australia, Bureau of Meteorology)
(We live down the bottom part of the Oz mainland, where the blue/green spots are. You might just be able to see a patch in the middle of the blue/green spots. That is aroundabout where Melbourne is.)
Yasi has also been downgraded and will fade away but not before she joins forces with the remains of Anthony and dumps a whole lot more rain on us. You can see her remains in the satellite picture.
We popped up to the PiLs' tonight to have an Urban Burger, not realising the horrors that awaited us. The Bureau had forecast rain and we understand rain, or so we thought. We enjoyed the burgers. About 5 minutes after we got there, it started raining. Nice big fat subtropical rain. Not the wussy temperate stuff that we know.
10 minutes later it was really starting to get a bit wet. (Excuse the crappy mobile phone pics - the light was awful)
And soon was even wetter. (I'm not admitting that Someone stood in that enormous puddle in her almost brand new shoes....)
Since it started pouring again by the time we reached the undercover comfort of the shopping centre (where we had parked our car), I chivalrously offered my PiLs the back seat of my very small car. Unusually, they were grateful to squish in there.
Driving the 600m to the PiLs' from the shopping centre was pretty traumatic. The rain was pouring so hard that the wipers were useless. The roads were a good inch deep in water (and this is on the side of quite a steep hill too) and one corner that I had to navigate (ahem!) was almost totally flooded. Jumping the five metres from the car to the verandah was a soaking experience.
We waited there for a good couple of hours whilst working out whether or not to drive home. The roads were chaotic - DH's brother and his fiancee were out near the city celebrating her dad's birthday. They drove through some pretty deep water and had to take a roundabout way home. We saw a number of cars that had conked out just on the way to the PiLs'. Driving a new(ish) car through deep water looks like a really, really stupid thing to do (not just something pretty dumb) - we saw at least one that had fried their electrics and five minutes later was still draining water out of itself.
Things seemed to have settled down by about 10:15 so we took off on our intrepid, usually 20 minute, journey in brave brave Sir Helmet. Sir Helmet did not bravely run away, or at least he took us with him as he did so. The Monash freeway was blocked off by a cop car and was chockers with cars going nowhere (we assume that the creek about 5km on had overrun its banks). The road, Springvale Road, we usually use to get home was chockers. Wellington Road had a HUGE puddle, so another couple of cop cars were blocking that off. But because we are "locals" and know other routes, we just took a different way home and had absolutely no hassles at all. We were lucky.
Since about 6pm, we've had nearly four inches of rain. Two of that probably fell in an hour as some fairly good storms rolled through. Our little bit of floodplain looks ok for the nonce. I hope others are ok too!