Archive for February 28th, 2007

Yellow Storm Warning

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
Illawarra,
Hunter,
Central Tablelands,
Metropolitan,
ACT and parts of the
Northwest Plains,
Northwest Slopes,
Central West Slopes,
South Coast,
Northern Rivers,
Northern Tablelands,
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.

End Update

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

Samuel

7 comments February 28th, 2007 at 06:53pm

More on the storm

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

Samuel

8 comments February 28th, 2007 at 05:35pm

The Storm

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).
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007

Not a great photo, but looking down at the hail.
Canberra Storm February 27 2007

The backyard
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007

The front yard
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007

I then emailed a couple photos to Stuart Bocking and this website, before setting out to explore the hail wonderland
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007

Even an undercover carpark had hail in it
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007

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.

Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007

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.
Canberra Storm February 27 2007
Canberra Storm February 27 2007

There was a bit of a mudslide.
Canberra Storm February 27 2007

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.
Canberra Storm February 27 2007

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.

Canberra Airport
21:00pm: 20.0°C/0.4mm
21:30pm: 19.6°C/0.4mm
22:00pm: 19.2°C/0.4mm
22:30pm: 19.0°C/0.4mm
23:00pm: 16.0°C/11.0mm
23:30pm: 13.4°C/37.4mm
00:00pm: 15.2°C/37.4mm

Tuggeranong
21:00pm: 21.2°C/0.0mm
21:30pm: 18.2°C/6.8mm
22:00pm: 17.0°C/7.0mm
22:30pm: 16.5°C/12.8mm
23:00pm: 16.6°C/15.6mm
23:30pm: 16.8°C/16.2mm
00:00pm: 16.3°C/16.2mm

Samuel

12 comments February 28th, 2007 at 06:57am


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