Saturday, February 5, 2011

All's well in the Daintree (appearing on Blog and Facebook!)

An 'interesting' week to say the least.  Increasing fear for us all with the approach of Cyclone Yasi and then, for most of us folks north of Cairns an enormous sigh of relief - but profound horror at the utter devastation of communities further south.  Almost unbelievable that Queensland could suffer two natural events of such magnitude within a space of weeks - so many folks who supported the flood victims further south now in dire need themselves.
Our preparations started early in the week with everything moveable being shifted, locked-up or tied down.  Our home is a very open tropical house with few windows in the living area, mostly floor-to-ceiling (except we don't actually have a ceiling!) insect screens so all the furniture was stacked in the one corner of the living-area which does have windows, which we taped for safety.

Severe tropical cyclone Yasi was forecast to cross the coast on Wednesday night but right up until about 9pm we had still not had a breath of wind.  It picked up then and it was a wild and woolly night outside and the power went off about 10pm.  Peter and I spent the evening in the office - our walls are solid besser-block and this is the safest roon - with the battery radio to hear what was happening everywhere and a couple of bottles of red wine! (as you do!).

Next morning we looked out expecting a scene of devastation but all we saw was like this - lots of small branches and leaves and only a couple of trees down on our 30 acres!  We were SOOOOO lucky!  Only minor vegetation damage throughout the whole region - very little structural damage and, thank goodness, no casualties.

We only had 3mm - not even half an inch - of rain when Yasi crossed!  However since then it's made up for it and in the past 24 hours we've had 240mm, about 10 inches!

Now, three days later, there are still about 140,000 houses without power throughout Queensland - we thank heaven for our generator which is hooked up to the house for emergencies.  Now all the phones north of Mossman are out.

Luckily yesterday morning we decided to drive in to Mossman to stock up on petrol for the genny and a few supplies as by the time we came home the water was just under our brand new bridge - and I took this photo this morning, about 10 minutes ago!  Earlier it was much higher but as usual it's going down quite quickly so by this afternoon it should be passable.

So we really are grateful for (a) generator, (b) satellite broadband, (c) Skype ... plus (d) a good sense of humour!

Of course our refurbishment-schedule is now behind-hand.  Builder and electrician had been arranged for this week to replace the air-conditioners in the cabins - and our lovely new Sealy beds are still in Brisbane!   Luckily no guests booked in - in fact we are always reluctant to take bookings in February anyway as the weather is so unpredictable.

But all very, very minor inconveniences compared to so many other Queenslanders ........

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