A couple storm photos More on the storm

The Storm

February 28th, 2007 at 06:57am

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

Entry Filed under: Canberra Stories

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12 Comments

  • 1. John_Barnes  |  February 28th, 2007 at 7:52 am

    and Rocky got blown out of his Balboa tree and hit his head on a rock !

  • 2. Bearded Clam  |  February 28th, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Or did a rock hit his head from a great height?

  • 3. tuggers  |  February 28th, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    Very good photos, thnks for taking the trouble to post them. I’m concerned about the one with the supermarket trolley in the front yard. Supabarn could easily and justifiably charge you with stealing their property.

  • 4. Samuel  |  February 28th, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    We’d been shopping, we return trolleys, just not in the middle of storms.

    For what it’s worth, the trolley was safer there (that spot is relatively covered) than in the Canberra centre which had plenty of flooding.

    Also, I can’t see any identifying marks on that trolley, prosecution could be a bit difficult without proof of ownership.

    I’m glad you liked the photos, and despite appearances in my text, I’m sure you were making a light-hearted comment about the trolley.

  • 5. tuggers  |  February 28th, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    My comment was a little tongue in cheek. When I walk around the suburbs and see these things smashed, used as washing baskets or blocking the stormwater canals and causing floods themselves, I become very annoyed. I think the safety of the thing at the shop is irrelevant.

    Many people say they return the trolleys when they go back. That doesn’t help the poor bugger who has to go in later and carry a laden basket around as there are no trolleys left. It doesn’t stop the supermarket whacking up their prices to cover costs of missing ones, or recovering the ones that people have “forgot” to return. It is stealing; not borrowing to take the trolley out of the carparks. BTW City Market is the only large food outlet within reasonable walking distance of Reid so it wouldn’t take a genius to work out where it came from.

    I’ll get off the soapbox now

  • 6. Samuel  |  February 28th, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    No, don’t get off your soapbox, I have questions…

    It is stealing; not borrowing to take the trolley out of the carparks

    And exactly how are people supposed to get the groceries home if they live nearby then? Fifteen trips to and from the shop?

    BTW City Market is the only large food outlet within reasonable walking distance of Reid so it wouldn’t take a genius to work out where it came from.

    Well the City Markets doesn’t exist any more (and before you say anything, City Markets is a name, not a plural), and I agree that it wouldn’t take a genius to work out where it probably came from, but I could have walked home with a trolley from either Ainslie, Campbell or Dickson.

    Trolleys should be returned, but I think it is worthwhile noting that Supabarn, probably due to the high number of apartments in the area and therefore the high number of trolleys that are used in the area, employ people to pick up trolleys left around the nearby suburbs, and they always pick up a lot of trolleys…so therefore I am paying for that service when I buy the groceries and should be entitled to use it. This isn’t to say that I don’t think people should return the trolleys, because I think they should, however I’m sure you can see some logic in my point.

    Personally, I quite like the Aldi model of paying a token fee for the use of trolley, and only getting your money back if you return the trolley.

  • 7. Samuel  |  February 28th, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    Just fixed an error where I reused the image tags and just changed the filenames without realising that I had also copied the phrase “Even an undercover carpark had hail in it”. Sorry about that.

    Also, I’ve received two emails from people concerned about me standing on the road to take photos…I had a torch with me and was shining it in the direction of any oncoming traffic to make sure that they knew I was there, as I didn’t have access to a reflective vest. I was also much further back from traffic than the pictures show, and moved off the road when they came.

    Unfortunately the best position for “headlights in fog” shots was standing on the road.

  • 8. John B1_B5  |  March 1st, 2007 at 10:54 am

    Those shopping trolleys are a pain in the rear end, especially on
    downhill slopes.
    A 3 wheeled trolley would be easier to control .

  • 9. tuggers  |  March 1st, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    Hello Sam. I didn’t respond last night as I was too tired. I don’t think it matters where the trolley came from, it is still the property of the shop you took it out of. A few years ago Dairy Farmers (I think) had a crackdown on people taking milk crates and not returning them. Many people received a fine for what they thought was a victimless crime

    You asked “how are people supposed to get the groceries home if they live nearby?”

    If you don’t want to drive and live nearby you can get a cab, or home delivery $5ish, or you could be environmental and buy your own wheeled carrier, about $8. Most people had them before suburbs and supermarkets took off in the seventies.

    Your argument about people employed to pick up the trolleys, is not effective because I pay the same price as you and carry my groceries home myself, sometimes on the bus. I would prefer to pay less money than subsidise bad habits

    The Aldi concept is good, but it won’t discourage people who are intent on ‘borrowing’ trollies, only those who would normally leave them next to their car. The rental cost would need to be significantly higher to stop people taking them home.

    As I said at the start, I dislike seeing these things littering the landscape environment everywhere. May I suggest you wear your journalistic hat and interview the manager of one of these supermarkets near to you and find out what they actually pay or each trolley and the cost of collecting them

    I can see your point, but I don’t agree with you. I also aren’t singling you out, as I said this is a bugbear of mine

  • 10. Bearded Clam  |  March 4th, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    John, I believe a 6 wheeled trolley would be even better.

  • 11. Samuel  |  March 4th, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    John and Bearded Clam…why?

  • 12. Bearded Clam  |  March 4th, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    You know how you see those big semi-trailers with “double” wheels on the trailer? I think Johns three-wheeler idea would be made safer with “double” wheels.

    Safety first. Thats what I always say.


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