We're without power at home - posting from work. World absolutely erupted about ten minutes after I posted last night, though it wasn't even raining when I did. Me and dog were huddled downstairs preparing to watch DVDs through it when my mum came down. Then the power just went off. Me and mum went to look outside - we could open the back door and not get wet, that's how hard it's blowing against the front. It's just stark white - we couldn't see our back trees, or the house at the back; the wind's just whipping the rain into frenzies. It's at this point that somehow, without getting rained on, I get a piece of hail down my top. So me+mum+dog all huddled on the couch downstairs when it starts hailing against the garage door. We're watching as these fingernail-sized hailstones are coming under the gap between garage door and concrete floor, and the water is steadily coming in. Mum sweeps some of it out, I'm huddled with dog, and I'm digging out this piece of ice, and I'm steadily getting wetter. Mum sits back down with me, I playfully put the piece of ice on her leg, look up and HOLY CRAP THE DOWNSTAIRS ROOF IS LEAKING. <- that was mum's reaction when I oh-so-calmly told her that there's water coming from the beam above us.
Mum rushes upstairs (later telling me she's thinking OH GOD THE WINDOWS HAVE BUSTED) and I'm sitting downstairs with the dog when I realize rain is coming vertically through the veranda - which is made of wooden slats - and falling on my car and the second car park which is filled with the 30 year+ junk that people collect when they have three kids and a handyman husband. I start sweeping the water, it's fooking freezing to someone with no shoes on, and did I mention this open car spot is carpeted? Then the other side of the garage begins to flood. This is not a completely unheard of occurrence, but this manages to flood the whole tiled section, go underneath the washing machine and tubs, go into my brother's bathroom and ventures behind the bar on the other side. This is a slightly more pressing problem than old junk and I sweep most of it out - most of it comes right back in because our drainage pipe for the backyard has been blocked.
I give it up as a lost cause and head upstairs. Mum's rushing around with tea towels, points me towards a window and God(dess) Almighty, rain's coming in UNDERNEATH the windows. Each sill is completely soaked with a pool of water. I manage to get one living room window, my bedroom and my parent's bedroom under control with tea towels soaking up the water already come in and stopping more coming in. The back bedroom's window, which faces the backyard, is completely, fully open and no rain has come in at all. I laugh hysterically.
The hallway is leaking along one beam, and my mum digs out three mixing bowls to catch the water. Upon coming in my bedroom I notice part of the carpet's wet but I dismiss as just blowoff from the window. Until I'm standing there and watching the rain and a drop hits my head.
My room's leaking from the light fixture.
My mum swears, grabs another mixing bowl, tells me to sop up the carpet as much as possible and catch the rest of the drips. I can see water coming off the lightbulb.
Finally starts to calm down outside. Power's still out. Windows and doors have been barricaded with tea towels or beach towels, buckets under drips, and we head back downstairs.
The carpet in the garage is saturated. Mum dries most of the bathroom floor with the bathroom mat. I move the most pressing things on the wet carpet to dry carpet (Dylan's birthday present of a new bike [still in box], dog's bed).
It calms right down to occasional misty rain. The fence between us and the lefthand neighbours (which was bad anyway) has had a couple more slats punched out. Potplants have been demolished. One of the mini-trees in the front yard has had two branches just twisted around until they're hanging on by strands. And the hail's just piled up against the front window and on the veranda chairs. (I have pictures, but those will have to wait until my home computer's operational.)
Highlights of the night include - ham and cheese sandwiches for tea, watching DVDs by candlelight on my portable DVD player, having my dad come home with tales from the hospital (their reception's flooded, sign got knocked down, trees got knocked down [one directly onto someone's car, another onto the protective sails over the carpark which knocked that onto someone's car], blocked carparks), telling dad exactly what's he's got to do today+tomorrow (pulling EVERYTHING out of the garage to get at the carpet, finding out what's been destroyed by the water and what's salvageable), going to bed at 9:30.
This morning - power's still out, every traffic light I use to get to work (all 6 of them) are out, only one of which has a cop directing traffic, massive great trees have been uprooted in parks, and on the radio I heard that someone in my suburb copped the worst of it with a 60ft gum tree smashing through the roof of their house. Oh, and there's two massive places in the living room and my bedroom where it's all discoloured and looks like there's pools of water above 'em.
Now crossing fingers that power's back on at home. And that it fines up enough to get something moving along.
Edit: a whole bunch of other people's photos - we're closer to The Gap than most of the other suburbs mentioned. http://email.news.com.au/ct/click?q=2f-hYtFIqnnAVbArWEJlaG38gXPjdRR
Edit the second: There's a couple of photos towards the end of the article above of a tree on the Ferny Grove police station - that's on the same street as my old high school, and literally three streets away from my house (okay, long streets, but still).
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