Last Saturday a cyclone hit Darwin, it formed on Friday a category 1 (the least strong). One of the girls at work described it as kite flying weather, and we laughed about customers who were rushing in to buy torches, gas bottles, tarps...
BUT on Saturday it strengthened to a category 2. I started the morning sitting on the verandah watching the rain and trees buffetting in the wind, feeling grumpy about missing out on my morning walk. At 10.30 the power went out, and by 11 I thought I'd better go inside as the wind cranked up and branches snapped off trees and palms in our yard blew over.
The track of the cyclone passed right over Darwin, winds of 130km were recorded the strongest for 30 years. The worst of the storm was for about an hour in the middle of the day. It quickly calmed down, and when I ventured out to the end of the street mid afternoon, I was shocked to see so many trees down in every direction.
I feel stupid that we were so unprepared - I used to have a cyclone kit but the tinned food and bottled water got too old, I threw it out and never replaced it. We had cheese sandwiches for dinner that night!
We were lucky that our power came back on the next morning, some suburbs were without power for 5 days. We were lucky that I had a little radio so we could listen to the news updates, and that we had torches batteries and candles kicking around the house. We were lucky that I'm a bad housewife!!! The fridge needed defrosting and had a big lump of ice up the back that kept the milk cool.
These photos are of the aftermath of the cyclone. My walk to work takes me past two parks, I'm not much of a photographer but I wanted a record of these fallen giants. I know that in a few months the memory will fade, I'll forget how extreme and frightening the storm was. Hopefully these photos will remind me of how powerful the cyclone was and to take the next one seriously.