Friday, June 21, 2013

Shades of the Wahine storm, which I am old enough to remember

Sam was singing in a band at a school concert last night so we had to go into the city. The drive in was a bit ropey with very poor visibility but not much more than typical wintery Wellington weather. But the drive home around 9.30 was something else.

Torrential rain driving horizontally from the south wasn't a huge problem until we hit the Petone Esplanade. The driver in front of me turned on his emergency lights and slowed and veered - a manhole lid was up and  and sitting at a 60 degree angle. Drove around that. Next one of the centre island road signs was down. From Waione the street lights were gone and even with full beam it was hard to see any distance ahead. A lampost was down on the road in Seaview. Drove around that. As we started into the Bays we got in behind an emergency road vehicle but he pulled over fairly quickly to clear rocks. The road wasn't shut and I hadn't expected it would be having checked the tides earlier. Living in Eastbourne you are always mindful of being cut off with storms and high tides combining. I drove on at about 20-30km. The power was out everywhere. The visual effect of the southerly gales whipping across the surface water on the road ahead was was dramatic. Sam wished she had a camera. I was literally hunched forward over the wheel trying to pick out any flooding or slips ahead.  There was debris everywhere and stuff flying around. Joking about people who drive around the Bays at that speed on perfectly nice days, actually, I just wanted to get home. Even to a house devoid of heat and light. A fire truck was at the bottom of our road as we turned in. Six massive Norfolk Pines along the street seemed to be shedding substantial branches. We arrived safely though I've yet to check out my beloved car which I suspect was hit by some flying object around York Bay.

Robert was rugged up playing piano. What else do you do when there's no power? We have a gas stove top so can boil water but our gas heater can only be started with electricity. Out came the 4 hot water bottles. Sam opened her laptop and put on music. She was still buoyed up from the concert so we had a lovely couple of hours singing and dancing, clutching our hotties. Sam thought it was a treat staying up late. I figured she wouldn't be going very far today. And I was right. The road is now closed. But we aren't cut off. Your only cut off when you can't get home.

1 comment:

Kiwiwit said...

Anywhere else in the world they would have given the storm a name.