The Emergency Services Authority has issued a Yellow Warning due to the weather bureau issuing a storm alert for a storm, potentially as bad as the one last night. Update 9:29pm: Bureau no longer expects that storm to touch Canberra End Update
If you don’t have an emergency kit prepared, now is the time to do so…battery operated radio, torch, first aid paraphernalia etc.
Hopefully the storm won’t be as bad as what we saw last night, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
As long as it is safe to do so, and my electricity and Internet connection work, I will provide updates.
The weather radar shows a rain band that might be headed this way, but last night’s storm developed so quickly and so close to Canberra that I wouldn’t rely to heavily on the radar if I were you.
Weatherzone’s radar view is the best one, if you turn on roads and borders you can pinpoint your house and work out whether the rain is coming you way or not.
Updates to follow.
Update 6:55pm: Direct from the Bureau.
NSW/ACT SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
for LARGE HAILSTONES, DAMAGING WIND, VERY HEAVY RAINFALL and FLASH FLOODING
For people in the
ACT and parts of the
Central West Slopes,
Mid North Coast and
Southern Tablelands Forecast Districts.
Issued at 6:19 PM Wednesday, 28 February 2007.
Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds, very heavy rainfall and flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours. Large hailstones also possible especially in the south.
Major locations within the warning area include Gosford, Grafton, Newcastle, Parramatta, Nowra, Bowral, Batemans Bay, Orange, Mudgee, Bathurst, Canberra and Goulburn.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover or away from trees.
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
* Keep clear of fallen power lines.
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
* Don’t walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water.
* Unplug computers and appliances.
* Avoid using the phone during the storm.
* Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.
* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500.
The next warning is due to be issued by 9:10 PM.
This warning is also available through TV and Radio broadcasts, the Bureau’s website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 218. The Bureau and State Emergency Service would appreciate this warning being broadcast regularly.
Update 9:06pm: The radar is almost free of rain, looks like we won’t have to deal with anything similar to last night’s storm after all…thankfully. End Update
Update 9:29pm: The Bureau’s latest Storm Warning update does not include Canberra or any areas within a couple hundred kilometres. End Update
Instead of taking more photos today I caught up on a lot of missed sleep from the last few days.
I do have some news for you though. The Canberra Centre was closed all day today and is expected to reopen tomorrow at 11am with the carpark opening at the usual time of 7am. Eight stores have been declared “right offs” write-offs, including Socrates which had a ceiling collapse.
Update 8:57pm: I took Nattie for a walk around the outside of the Canberra Centre this evening. The section with Dendy, Borders Books etc currently has no power, a group of people are using portable floodlights in there while they try to mop up. Construction works on the old City Markets site are continuing (I was able to see in, lots of concrete columns but nothing being built), mopping up is continuing in other area, and I had a chat with the staff (possibly owners) of the Angus & Robertson book store. They had a section of collapsed ceiling on display outside the store and it was quite clear that the floor and books were soaked. End Update
Well that was quite a storm last night, here is what happened.
Approximately 8:40pm a storm cell developed without warning to the west of Canberra and rapidly moved south-east whilst growing. It produced quite a bit of rain in the Tuggeranong and Weston Creek areas, but dissipated after a while. Before it was gone though, a new storm cell developed about half way between here and Yass, it rapidly moved in the same direction as the previous storm, but was destined for the inner north and west parts of Canberra.
This second storm produced lightning at an amazing rate (one flash every couple of seconds), and produced an immense amount of light, the light show went on for a while and I spent some time watching it through my bedroom window. Around 10:30 things really started to pick up with a small amount of rain and hail, it gradually got worse, and with a complete lack of any information from the Emergency Services Authority and broadcast media, I decided to contact the Bureau of Meteorology (by mobile, not landline)…the local office was shut so I called its Sydney parent office, I informed the meteorologist of the size of the hail and he then, after checking my location, informed me that it was going to get a whole lot worse…the radar was telling him that 6cm hail was less than a minute from my house…he was right, and before I knew it the roof and various windows were under attack…the upper floor was abandoned as there was no way to know whether or not the roof was going to hold, some walls could be felt shaking slightly under the constant pounding.
Just before 11pm I decided to do something about the lack of broadcast information and call Stuart Bocking on 2UE, and therefore 2CC…they had the news coming up, so they rang me back after the news, by which time the hail had (more or less) stopped and I gave Stuart a run-down of what had happened. My call then opened the flood gates as people started ringing in with their storm stories.
After this I went and took a whole heap of photos…I also recorded a video but I haven’t had a chance to review it, so I’ll make do with the photos for now.
First up inside the house, the spot where the tree hit in December 2005 still leaks a bit in heavy rain, but it has never soaked the toilet roll before (reminds me of the time I poured water into a tissue box in year 4 and found that they all stuck together…the teacher was not impressed).
Not a great photo, but looking down at the hail.
The front yard
I then emailed a couple photos to Stuart Bocking and this website, before setting out to explore the hail wonderland
Even an undercover carpark had hail in it
Ainslie Avenue was interesting, the median strip was flooded for a little while, as was the other side of the road…it had mostly cleared by the time I got there. The melting hail was also creating a fog, which was slowly getting thicker.
The fire brigade and the SES were kept busy all night with over 110 calls for help, the fire brigade’s lights looked interesting in the fog.
There was a bit of a mudslide.
An elderly lady who lives near me had water flood her roof, and pour out of various spots, including a smoke detector! I managed to get the SES team who were finishing up across the road to come over and help.
I would like to condemn the Emergency Services Authority for not issuing any “All Hazards Alerts” at all, even after a storm warning from the Bureau (first time they haven’t responded to one of those for a while), and effectively therefore not getting the media on standby, and the public (at least to some extent) prepared…if the ESA had been doing their job, local media would have had people at work before the storm struck, and they would have had the all hazards siren alerts broadcasting everywhere…instead it was a pure surprise to just about everyone. Update 6:44pm: ESA are blaming Telstra and Optus for not getting the text messages out to journalists…doesn’t quite explain the website, but under the circumstances I would be willing to exonerate them. They have admitted that they need to improve the efficiency of they emergency communications though.End Update
I would, however, like to highly praise the SES, Fire Brigade, Roads ACT and the Police who have been busy all night with the storm recovery…they all deserve every bit of praise they get, and probably more.
I’ve heard some reports of damage in Civic so I might take the camera for a little stroll down that way to see what has happened. If there is anything worth photographing then you can expect more photos later.
Incidentally, the temperature and rain since 9am statistics from the Bureau of Meteorology are quite interesting.
There is currently a very large storm battering southern Canberra. The storm formed about half an hour ago to the west of Canberra and is rapidly moving to the south-east. The lightning from this storm must be quite potent as it is causing quite amazingly bright flashes in the clouds all the way out here in inner north Canberra.
A severe storm warning is current and I wouldn’t surprised if this storm is causing flash flooding in some parts of the Tuggeranong area.
The latest radar image shows that the storm is expanding rapidly and the rain is getting heavier in the process. Get out your battery operated radios people and activate your emergency plan, it looks like the entire Canberra region will most likely be affected by this.
For assistance with storm damage, contact the SES on 132 500
Update 11pm: This should be a red alert and emergency sirens…absolute pelting hail storm in Inner North for the last twenty minutes or more. Can’t say more right now, can’t stay upstairs. End Update
Update 12:46am: Here’s what I wrote in some comments a couple minutes ago:
According to an SES person Civic has been severely damaged in the storm, apparently most buildings have alarms going off and a lot have water and hail damage. In my area one lady has water coming out of her smoke alarm, I managed to get a nearby SES team to attend, the fire alarms on a number of nearby buildings are going off and the fire brigade is attending to a problem of some sort just up the street.
The SES person also said that cars were getting bogged in the rain.
I have a few more photos which I will upload tonight, and a video which may or may not have worked properly…I’ll check and see. End Update
I can’t help but get the feeling that the ABC’s title as the master of pronunciation and usage of the English language in Australia is a mere memory. It has been quite obvious over the last couple of years that their pronunciation standards have been slipping to the point where, whilst still perfectly legible, they have no bragging rights over other stations and networks.
Pronunciation is one thing, and we are all human so mistakes should be expected unless you have experts clamouring over every tiny detail, but spelling is another, and last night I was quite dismayed to see ABC Television’s Canberra news use the supposed word “arguement” on a super (aka the story headline graphic thingy next to the newsreader). I’m sure they meant “argument”, and to their credit they pulled it from the screen once the error was noticed, but the mere fact that no form of spell checking system is in use in the ABC newsroom is a worry. If “arguement” happened to be a real, but wrong, word, then I wouldn’t be making any fuss over this, but the fact that it does not appear in any dictionary has me very concerned.
One can only hope that the ABC does not continue to slip, or before we know it they might be fund-raising with a “Quizmania” type of show in place of their current “repeat the night time programs during the day” hour…and that would be a very big shame. I wouldn’t have a problem with a privately funded ABC, but there would be much better ways of fund-raising than loopy 1900 number game shows.
Mix 106.3 were the first station to have a review period, from midday-1pm on Thursday February 22. Here’s what happened:
12:00pm: Sport section of news (includes two seconds of sponsor notice). Seems fairly informative.
12:01pm: Weather (5 seconds of sponsor notice) It’s the weather… (Recorded portion of news bulletin lasted 1:40)
12:02pm: Program intro “Retro Lounge” (three seconds of sponsor). I’m not really sure how many times we need to hear “Retro Lounge” before we know what show it is, but between five and ten seems to work for Mix. After a bit of an intro including a couple events of the year we’re about to name, we head back to 1983 and Billy Idol’s “White Wedding”, the song is OK but it’s very repetitive and very very long (well, it seems long…probably the repetition)…I certainly wouldn’t recommend this song for high rotation, but once in a while is fine.
12:05pm: Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way”…now there’s a good song!
12:09pm: Presenter Karina Rappel starts talking and seems to know a little bit about the artists in the songs…research pays off for this presenter, she is proving to be a good tight presenter so far.
12:10pm: Nick Lowe’s 1986 song “I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock And Roll”. An up-beat song…not quite my cup of tea but certainly seems to put one in a good mood none-the-less…this is one of those songs that would easily drive me nuts and then grow on me.
12:14pm: A station ID and another song…there was a forward announce of the artist earlier, but I don’t remember who…I’m struggling to understand the lyrics of this song…wait, starting to recognise bits of it…still struggling with lyrics…picked up a couple and Google helps me remember the forward announce…it’s Icehouse’s “Don’t Believe Any More”. This is pure junk and certainly doesn’t fit in with the rest of the hour so far…next!
12:19pm: Karina back announces the song, it was from 1984…plugs an interview on “tomorrow’s” breakfast show and stumbles over a sponsor (10 seconds)…at least their live! Song intro starts while Karina plays the secret sound twice and invites callers…and the song is from Billy Joel…and I can work out for myself what song it is if you won’t tell me “Only The Good Die Young”.
12:23pm: Ads…at last! Promo for “Summer Six Pack” program, Easy Rid Pest Control, Harvey Norman Fridges, Cusacks Beds, Go Gecko Property Sales, ActewAGL, Royal Canberra Show. 3:08 in total.
12:26pm: Secret Sound (4 second sponsor), four people all wrong. Minimal interaction with callers, we must have a tightly scheduled hour.
12:27pm: 2 second mention of sponsor, the weather, oh, and that sounds like a song starting, better mention the artist…”Tears for Fears” I think…the song is absolutely dreadful anyway, and for the record it is actually Tears For Fears’ “Head Over Heels”.
12:31pm: ID on top of the intro to a good song…it’s Joe Cocker’s “Feelin’ Alright”.
12:35pm: ID on top of intro again…(we need a back announce and soon) and the song is (apart from really bad) I wouldn’t have a clue, the lyrics are virtually indecipherable except for the chorus…seems to be “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins.
12:38pm: Karina is back, and we have a back announce for the last song…some babble about Tom Cruise…forward announce of two artists, live-read promo for their “Workday Rescue” (20 Sec).
12:39pm: (39:50)Ad break: Promo for breakfast show, Fuel Tax Credits, really bad ad for Mayner and Cochrane, the jingles get worse with The Canberra Times Classifieds, Rebel Sport, Dr. Drains, Tuggeranong Hyperdome. 3:46 in total
12:43pm: ID and song: KC & The Sunshine Band’s “Boogie Shoes”. I like this song but it’s a relatively slow and boring song, coming out of a really bad and boring ad break…the next song better be good if they want me to stay interested.
12:45pm: ID and song: ELO’s “It’s A Living Thing”. My prayers have been answered! A brilliant song, it probably should have been first out of the break but it’ll do where it is…it may have just saved the hour.
12:49pm: Karina takes a caller…can’t work out whether or not this is a promo for Powerball, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and say it was an innocent call.
12:50pm: Hmmm, a song…it sounds like Men At Work…and it is, with “Be Good Johnnie”…not their best by a long shot…and for some reason reminds me of “Boris The Spider” by The Who…the whole “be good be good be good be good be good be good” thing is wearing very thin, this better be a short song.
12:53pm: Saved by Karina who starts talking over the end of the song…and announces the end of today’s “Retro Lounge”. (7 second sponsor). Another Powerball mention, seems to have something to do with the breakfast show and one of their sponsors (10 seconds)…quick mention of upcoming news bulletin, next host and another round of the secret sound…and then…
12:53pm: Ad break: Bing Lee (is the voiceover done in an echo chamber?), Sears Morton Furniture, Webster Advertising, Merryville Estate Murrumbateman, AFL NAB Pre-Season Cup, Canberra Airport. 2:59 in total
12:56pm: News (a tad early?). They’re calling it “complete news”…this will be interesting (5 second sponsor). It seems very concise but does have a good local emphasis, bit concerned about the newsworthiness of some stories though. (5 second sport sponsor). The review hour finishes before the sport does. (Recorded segment of news bulletin lasted 3:05).
Advertising: 10 minutes and 58 seconds
News: 4 minutes and 45 seconds
Summary News: Seemed fairly comprehensive and local, would have gotten a four but it lacked any reporters and there were some stories in there which probably shouldn’t have made the news bulletin. It’s a good effort and a three would be too harsh.
Talk: The talk programming isn’t overly relevant on a music station but it does hold the hour together. Karina appeared to have done her research and she started off well, but a lack of proper song “artist and title” announcements, and the second half of the hour feeling very rushed in terms of talk didn’t help. The first twenty minutes got her a five…pity the hour goes for sixty minutes.
Music: There was some stuff in there that I thought was absolutely atrocious, but there seemed to be a logical format for most of it, and I could put up with the bad stuff knowing that something good was probably just around the corner.
Overall: It wasn’t bad, but overall it did feel like an mp3 player working through the playlist. A couple little fumbles from Karina assured me that it was live, but there wasn’t enough room in that hour for Karina to move…perhaps the time she lost on that strange Powerball caller made all the difference, but it sounded rushed and I did feel like tuning out a couple of times. For what it’s worth, the first twenty to thirty minutes were far better than everything else.
Feel free to discuss the poll subject in the comments below. You need to be a registered member of Samuel’s Blog to comment, but anyone can vote. The system will attempt to prevent you from voting more than once, and whilst it might not always be able to do that, I request that you only vote once.
Disclaimer: This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you’re using these numbers to do anything important, you’re insane. That being said, I do try to keep the results fair and accurate, and I try to prevent abuse by unscrupulous voters, but I can’t make any guarantees.
Now for the results from last week’s poll.
Did US President George W. Bush make the right decision by committing more troops to Iraq during the week?
I’ve ignored a couple ho-hum blue alerts over the last couple of days, but it looks like we finally have an alert which has been issued for a reason other than merely testing the fax machine by issuing an alert.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe storm warning for large hailstones, damaging winds, very heavy rainfall and flash flooding in the Illawarra, South Coast, Southern Tablelands, ACT and parts of the Hunter, Central Tablelands and Metropolitan Forecast Districts. Major locations within the warning area include Nowra, Batemans Bay, Canberra, Goulburn, Wollongong and Yass.
The usual precautions apply:
Move your car under cover or away from trees.
Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
Keep clear of fallen power lines.
Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
Don’t walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water.
Unplug computers and appliances.
Avoid using the phone during the storm.
Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.
The ACT Emergency Services Authority has issued a “Likely Impact” Yellow Warning, which will be valid until 8pm, after which they will revert to their weekend-long “Possible Impact” Blue Alert.
The next update from the Bureau is due at 5:55pm.
For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES on 132 500.
Update 5:06PM: Looks like the storm heard about the alert and decided to take shelter, because the rain is rapidly disappearing from the radar. End Update
Firstly, the radio review schedule was on track for one day. Mix 106.3 had their first review period recorded on Thursday, but due to unforseen circumstances I have not as yet had a chance to listen to it, or set up the recording for the next station on the list, which should have been recorded today. As such the schedule has been put back by one weekday. The Mix 106.3 review will be online tomorrow morning at 6am.
Update 12:20pm Saturday February 24: Or Sunday or Monday at 6am…best, plans, mice, men. End Update
Those of you who were listening to Glenn Wheeler on Sunday afternoon would have already heard my golf joke…but here it is anyway
Q: What happens in Golf when your ball hits a bird?
A: You get a free birdie!
OK, here’s one from Terry in Lismore (he informs me that he is a (John Laws network station) 2LM listener).
Three golfing buddies died in a car accident and went to heaven.
Upon arrival, they noticed the most beautiful golf course they had ever seen. St. Peter told them they were welcome to play the course, but he cautioned them with one rule: “Don’t step on the ducks.”
The men had blank expressions on their faces, and finally one of them said, “The ducks?”
“Yes,” St. Peter Said. “There are millions of ducks walking around the golf course, and when one of them is stepped on, he squawks, and then the one next to him squawks, and soon they’re all raising hell and it really breaks the tranquility. If you step on the ducks, you’ll be punished.”
The men start playing the course, and within 15 minutes, one of the guys stepped on a duck. The duck squawked, and soon there was a deafening roar of ducks quacking.
St. Peter appeared with an extremely homely woman and asked, “Who stepped on a duck?”
“I did,” admitted one of the men. St. Peter immediately pulled out a pair of handcuffs and cuffed the man to the homely woman. “I told you not to step on the ducks,” he said. “Now you’ll be handcuffed together for eternity.”
The two other men were very cautious not to step on any ducks, but a couple of weeks later, one of them accidentally did. The quacks were as deafening as before, and within minutes, St. Peter walked up with a woman who was even uglier than the other one. He determined who stepped on the duck by seeing the fear in the man’s face, and he cuffed him to the woman. “I told you not to step on the ducks,” St. Peter said. “Now you’ll be handcuffed together for eternity.”
The third man was extremely careful. Some days he wouldn’t even move for fear of nudging a duck. After three months of this, he still hadn’t stepped on a duck. St. Peter walked up to the man and had with him the most beautiful woman the man had ever seen. St. Peter smiled and without a word, handcuffed him to the beautiful woman and walked off.
The man, knowing that he would be handcuffed to this woman for eternity, let out a sigh and said, “What have I done to deserve this?”
The woman replied: “I don’t know about you, but I stepped on a duck.”
Do you have something you would like to contribute to Friday Funnies? If so, email it to email@example.com. All contributions welcome!
Hopefully the majority of people in Canberra know that Jack Waterford is the editor of The Canberra Times. Some would even be aware that he picked up an Order of Australia medal in the recent Australia Day awards.
It is for that reason that I feel like sharing an anecdote with you about Mr. Waterford.
Jack Waterford lives in Braddon across the road from an elderly couple who, until a couple years ago, had the oldest solar hot water heater in Canberra (it had to be removed). I have been friends with this couple since my primary school days when I would often chat with them on my way home from school. Back then, Jack’s dog Molly was quite young and, much like her esteemed owner, had a taste for newspapers, as such she would often cross the road to pick up the elderly couple’s newspaper, and ensure that it received a thorough chewing. This would result in a call to The Canberra Times to inform them that the editor’s dog had chewed up their paper again…which always resulted in a replacement copy being delivered post-haste!
Apparently it was not regarded as a good idea amongst Canberra Times staff to inform Mr. Waterford of the incidents.
In my article about the start of Canberra’s Radio Ratings Period I incorrectly stated that 2CC are reusing the ads they plastered on the backs of ACTION Buses last year. It has since come to my attention that the ads they are using this year do not contain the face and name of Stan Zemanek.
I apologise to 2CC for this error and any inconvenience it may have caused.
I do have to wonder why another person (John Stanley or Mike Frame for example) was not added in place of Stan Zemanek.
In light of my recent look at 666 ABC Canberra, I have decided to launch a review of all of the radio stations in Canberra that are in the ratings race, namely:
666 ABC Canberra (666 AM)
Radio National (846 AM)
2CA (1053 AM)
2CC (1206 AM)
JJJ (101.5 FM)
ABC Classic FM (102.3 FM)
NewsRadio (103.9 FM)
FM 104.7 Canberra (104.7 FM)
Mix 106.3 (106.3 FM)
Each station will be reviewed twice (my previous look at ABC Local Radio doesn’t count), each review will last for one hour and will focus solely on the station under review. Reviews will be conducted on weekdays at some stage between 6am and 6pm. One station will be reviewed per day. Reviews will start today Thursday February 22 and will run until Monday March 19. This does, unfortunately, place the last review out of the ratings period.
Review dates and times will be chosen by a random number generator. It will provide the order of the first round of reviews, followed by the second round of reviews. It will then choose an hour for each review in order. These dates and times will not be published due to the possibility (no matter how small) of stations putting on better than usual performances during their review period, after all Nielsen don’t publish the details of their sample groups do they?
Review periods will be recorded and subsequently reviewed that evening, with the results of the review to appear the following morning at 6am.
Each review will contain a textual run-down of the events of the hour and my impressions of them (where appropriate), the review will also contain a section for a review of the news bulletin(s) including length and quality, a review of the standard of talk programming (non-news bulletin) in the hour, a review of the standard of music played in the hour, and the amount of advertising content in the hour.
I will also provide a star rating out of five for the quality of:
At the half-way point of the reviews I will produce a leader board for each of those categories.
At the end of the series I will produce another leader board, which will use the average scores.
Depending on how well this series goes, I may decide to run another series in the next ratings period, and possibly even run a series outside of ratings periods.
Naturally the review, as it is run by me, will be based on my opinion. What I don’t like, somebody else probably will…that being said, I, along with the rest of you, may still be surprised by the results. I’m looking forward to this, it should be quite a lot of fun.