Smile Kid

Smile Kid
Be who you want and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Crazy-ass Cyclone


A tropical cyclone that crossed the East coast of North Queensland in the early hours of the morning on the 3rd of February 2011 (just over a week ago).

It was a category 5 cyclone with wind speeds of 295 kilometres an hour.

It was the first cyclone in Australian history to not lose any of its ferocity upon crossing the coast.

It had a 500km wide storm front.

I live just over 100km away from where the centre of the storm past.

I live in the district that was hit, the region that was the most devastated by the disaster.

The deadly cyclone only proved deadly to a number of people which you can count on one hand. Despite the low death toll the fierce tropical storm has still caused severe damage to property that has sabotaged lives and turned everything into pandemonium.

As a fore-word to the next paragraph to prevent the confusion that would inevitably ensue if I didn't provide you with this vital piece of information; I am currently on a computer in my school library.

I have been without electricity for a week now and it is expected that the power lines will not be prepared for at least one month, I've heard that power won't be restored for nine weeks but I am dearly hoping that this is just a miscalculation.

We were without a phone for five days, we live out of mobile range so using our mobiles was not an option.

"I went and saw the Smith's this morning. They've lost the roof off their house, everything is gone"
"Oh my, I'd heard about the Harpers and the Forgans but not them. Where are they staying"?
"They're at the neighbours house. The place is bloody packed and they've run out of bread and milk".
"Ooh, I've got a few litres of Long Life milk. I'll take it over to them soon".

Without the phones it was conversations like these that kept us informed of what was going on and how other people were coping.

Life without electricity can be a fun experience if you're camping or if it's only for 3 days. At any point in time when you are shivering in the cold shower or cursing at the TV, computer, light, fan, air-conditioning, or any other electrical appliance that people usually use to make life more comfortable; you can stop and remind yourself that many third world countries are without any of these luxuries and that 300 years ago electricity was non-existent.

But after a week...

Your optimistic "If-other-people-live-like-this-then-I-can-too" attitude wears thin.

However even without electricity I certainly haven't been lacking things to do. Half the roof was torn off my Dad's shed. As owner of his own windscreen and panel beating business, Dad had some important things in that shed. He had a filing cabinet of important paper work, windscreens and a shelf full of hundreds of dollars worth of paint and car parts as well as other vital business equipment.

It has been a whole family effort for the past week to clean up. We have pulled together and been more patient and co-operative then ever before. I love how disasters make people pull together.

Upon seeing the damage to his shed it would have been easy and entirely understandable for Dad to lose it. To yell and scream, or cry, or smash things or lock himself in his room, but he did none of these things. Dad has been very strong through out the whole clean up, maintaining achievable goals everyday to make getting through easier. He holds a good spirit and is pushing forward despite knowing so little about what is going to happen next. He was faced with the unexpected (he never imagined that the roof would come off), yet he is overcoming it with such optimism and perseverance that it is impossible to watch him and not question your own integrity.

Our flattened sugar cane farm

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, I am so sorry to hear such awful news. And here I am complaining that the winter is so cold this year.
    Your dad sounds like a remarkable man! I sure hope you won't be without electricity for much longer and you can get your lives back to normal. I will add you all to my prayers each day.