Monday, 31 March 2008

Where's the Ark?

Ex-tropical cyclone Pancho slipped down the coast today and dropped what he had left on us. We didn’t get any wind, but obviously somewhere had suffered. The sky was red with dust and anything the rain fell on got covered in a fine coat of red mud. Someone else’s topsoil is now washing down the creeks to the city.

Watching it from the safety of the school library was quite spectacular. The school has just had a lot of work done to the grounds, but I hate to think what’s going to have to be redone. The water ran off the road into school, down the driveway, mounted the curb, ran down the new lawned area and poured onto the recently levelled and as yet ungrassed oval, or do I mean swimming pool? It was quite a sight – five acres of mud. There was also a waterfall off the library roof (the gutters couldn’t cope), onto the verandah, down the ramp, along the path and onto - you guessed it - the oval.

But apparently we were lucky at the Primary Campus library. Down at Secondary, the other library assistant had to move from in front of the computer and put a bucket in her place, to catch the waterfall coming through the ceiling.

I left work a little early when there was a lull in the downpour. In town, roads were three feet deep in places. The local park by the river had transformed into a lake. As I drove home the school bus driver flagged me down (he should have been going the other way) to tell me that my boys had been the last kids he could drop off, because the road further up was impassable. He still had about ten children on board who were going to have to take a very long route home. “By the way,” he said cheerfully, “you won’t be able to get in – your driveway’s flooded!”

The whole way home, creeks that don’t normally run much, had broken their banks and crossed the road, leaving rocks and trees everywhere. We’d lost two fences where the water had carried them away and P was just on his way to move sheep when I got to the end of the driveway. I’m glad he was there, because I probably wouldn’t have tried to get through the creek across the gate, but he’d got through on his four-wheel motor bike, so I risked it. Apparently, five minutes earlier the creek had been running over the road a foot deep, too.

Of course I got in to find Dynamo standing on an island in the middle of the raging creek, thinking it was all great fun. Why do fathers never see things the same way as mothers? I looked and thought Oh no! What if he falls in? What if the water rises again? His Dad just saw it and thought Boys will be boys. But I do wonder if Dynamo had more sense than his older brother who was happily playing on the computer, still in his sodden school uniform. At least Dynamo had dry clothes on. Yes, boys will be boys, unfortunately.


Angela said...

two years back, we experienced phenominal railfall, and living in a flood plain, saw our river swell about eight feet up the banks. Living in a big city, that the river flows through, not much was spared: parking lots and golf courses were swallowed by the flood waters, and an entire construction fascility was lost, with water reaching the cabs of the cement trucks. Road became river, complete with rapids and it was a common thing to see whole trees, park benches and other large debris floating past.

It's amazing the damage water can do. We were lucky in that our house, a 2 minute walk from the river, was high enough to be spared flooding, but many neighborhoods suffered that year. Once you see something like that, you get a new respect for weather and mother nature.

Glad you guys are alright.

Kate said...

Our flood went as quickly as it came and didn't come near the house. We were pretty lucky, too.