Monday, November 17, 2008

A Perfect Storm

Sunday 16 November in Brisbane was hot and humid. About 4 o'clock that afternoon we experienced what has now been described as the worst storm to hit Brisbane in 25 years.

About 10 minutes before the storm struck. Even though it was only early afternoon it became so dark that the street lights came on.

The storm hit with a fury. It was like a mini-hurricane. The howling force of the wind caused rain and hail to fly horizontally. Lightning flashed constantly overhead. Within minutes of the storm hitting we lost power. The storm cell has since been described as having the force of a Category 2 cyclone. It was incredible.

Thankfully we suffered only relatively little damage. A tree at the side of our house had its trunk snapped in two and fell down. Luckily it missed the house and only caused minor damage to the fence. We had an amazing 82 mm (over 3 inches) of rain in 30 minutes. At the height of the storm I was bailing out water with a bucket from in front of the main entrance to our house. A pile of towels thrown into the entrance and much bailing and sweeping prevented the water from getting too far. However there was water damage to mats and items in our garage and on our back deck. The pool was littered with foliage debris. It was all pretty hectic.

The map below is from We're at Everton Hills in the Severe Damage circle to the south of the map.

One 20 year old man lost his life at Chermside when he was trapped in a storm water drain and drowned. It was believed he, and a friend who survived, had been taking photos of graffiti in the drains.

After the storm had passed Deb went for a quick drive to where her business was located at Arana Hills. Luckily there was no damage but flood waters came within a metre of the front steps. She was able to take some photos nearby.

An hour after the storm passed. Flooded intersection of Dawson Parade and Patricks Road at Arana Hills.

Over 240,000 homes and businesses in South-East Queensland were without electricity as a result of the storm causing trees to bring down power lines. We spent an evening sitting by candlelight and listening to the radio. We didn't get power back on until Monday morning, some 16 hours later.

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