Yesterday was an interesting day. We have had major storm warnings for the last few days here. Expected to be worse than the storm two weeks ago. The worst in this state for over 50 years. Floods, storm force winds, hail, big seas….The difference this time has been that a lot of preparatory work has been done to try and contain the damage expected. 43,000 sand bags have been used, weirs drained to make room for rising water levels etc. A code blue alert was issued for those sleeping rough, advising them of additional emergency accommodation sites opened up.
The morning was mild. Sky was blue. Perfect spring weather. By 1130 it was overcast and raining. A couple of claps of thunder and two BIG bright flashes of lightning. We were driving through the CBD at the time – it looked like a big furry tail. Our neighbour was on the road too. He had to stop because he said it was so bright it temporarily blinded him!
Where we live it didn’t seem that bad. Drizzling rain, gusts of wind. Calm. Then a bit more. A few BIG gusts and a short down pour. At 4pm we lost power. THE WHOLE STATE !!! No internet. No ability to send text messages – or receive them. No landlines working. Stores were closed and staff sent home. Hospitals ran on generators. No traffic lights. Airport closed. Rush hour traffic. Gridlock. Warnings on radio for people to turn their motors off if stuck in traffic as they could be stuck for hours and run out of petrol.
Anything that was dependant on electricity was not usable. I always have lots of candles in the house. We had them in the kitchen, in the toilet, in the dining room. The only one confused was out little dog. She couldn’t work out where to put herself! So I picked her up and put her on a dining room chair next to me. She often sits there when I’m at the table so it felt familiar and safe enough to go to sleep. Several of the neighbours were without candles so I gave them some as well.
I used candlelight to cook dinner – bacon and eggs. Boiled water for a cup of tea in a saucepan. As I was doing this I wondered how people who had electric stoves and no candles were managing. Fortunately it was not bitterly cold so we didn’t miss the heater. Although gas, it still needs electricity for the fan to keep it cool, otherwise it would melt. To entertain ourselves we played poker by candlelight. Us olds had a bit of difficulty identifying the cards in the semi-darkness! TRH went to bed early, grumpy because he couldn’t read.. I sat up crocheting. A simple pattern that I managed very well in the dim light.
My brother-in-law, who is a tradesman had this to say – ‘I don’t get it. Watching tv with my generator powering the house. Channel 9 has a special report on the power blackout. Even the Premier giving advice to the public…..who the f…k is watching it beside me ?’
It really bought it home in a big way just how dependant we are on electricity. We got power back in our area at 10pm. Great excitement for us all. Especially the kids. Yay!! Mobile phones are working. We can watch movies. Play games. Communication networks are back! I logged on to my laptop. It never ceases to amaze me how quick people are to post comments and memes on current events. I found this one on Facebook!
This morning storm warnings continue. Rain and high winds are expected all day and into the evening. We had lots of rain overnight. Large chunks of rural areas are still without power. Further power outages are expected. It is a sad state of affairs when we pay the highest price in the country and still have no emergency back up. One storm has knocked off our power supply !! So while I have power, I am catching up on blogging and publishing today’s post, expecting the
unexpected power to go off any second. Interestingly I can get comments on Reader but no posts are showing. Internet is slow. I can hear sirens in the background and Live Newsfeed shows flooding on a main road just around the corner from us. We’re not at risk.
Me? I’m thinking we need to do some pro-active emergency planning – like torches, camping lanterns, spare batteries. TRH is planning to go buy a generator! Must ask him to get an old fashioned kettle too. On a brighter note, we got the new rainwater tank installed just in time to catch a LOT of water. We still have room for more. If they fill up (which is more than likely) we will have enough to last us eight months. The interesting thing there is that even though we are using our own water supply we continue to get a bill of over $100 a quarter !
So here in Adelaide, the capital city of our Zero Emissions state, it is hatches battened down, emergency supplies in readiness for more black outs and stormy weather. I’m off to check the candle supply ! And do whatever else is necessary while we have power and daylight.
© Raili Tanska
Also written in response to Sandbox Challenge 57