I’m reluctant to make light of cyclones because they’re often catastrophic, and having grown up in the Tropics I have more than a passing respect for their potential. On the other hand, North Queenslanders often evince a discrepant pride in these furious seasonal visitors, which often brings communities together in ways both heartwarming and amusing. Here’s Daryl, Andy and Mick, after Cyclone Yasi in 2011 (photo credit: Herald Sun):
Our current leading lady, Cyclone Ita, made landfall around 10pm last night at Cape Flattery, after being downgraded from a Category 5 to a breezy Category 4. She promptly took out the weather station (the last recorded wind gust was 135km/hr) and tore the roof off the West Coast Pub. I’d put money on which incident affected the locals the most.
A couple of lads styling themselves as the Oz Cyclone Chasers headed up to Cooktown to document the event, and frankly did a stellar job keeping both the locals and their distant loved ones updated on social media. They subsequently found themselves stranded in Cooktown by flooded waterways, and have since been unable to stalk their gusty girlfriend as she wends her way south east. Their Facebook page is worth a look, if you’re interested in seeing some of the mental storm footage local residents have been capturing.
As I type, she’s been downgraded to a Category 1 and it’s still a couple of hours before she travels between the coast and GOF Manor. Dad tells me they had 12 inches of rain today, and looking at the radar they’re still weathering (har!) a fair sprinkling. The wind will give them a bit of a lashing overnight, but hopefully it won’t be anything that puts my inheritance at risk. At the most they may be facing yet another nursery rebuild, debris clean-up, and some minor road resurfacing. Unfortunately, cyclone clean-ups usually render one or both of my parents incapacitated, because they insist on climbing things, standing under falling things, walking on slippery things, ricocheting branches into things and carrying multiple wheelbarrows full of heavy things. Someone should remind them they LIVE FORTY KILOMETRES FROM THE NEAREST HOSPITAL AND ONE OF YOU DOESN’T DRIVE AND THE AMBULANCE PROBABLY DOESN’T HAVE FOUR WHEEL DRIVE AND MAYBE STOP STRESSING OUT YOUR DAUGHTER YOU MANIACS. Ahem.
Anyway, the upshot is they’re fine at the moment – although GOF was almost in mortal danger when he nearly forgot their 34th wedding anniversary today. Fortunately he keeps a warm bottle of Moscato in his workshop for such occasions.