Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wild weather in northern New South Wales

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We have wild and woolly weather here in Bellingen, and all the way to southern Queensland. It's our fourth flood since September. I have photos of recent floods at

This isn't a cyclone, but it's one helluva storm:

The city of Lismore, north of here, is being evacuated.

This morning there were wind gusts of 130 km/hr, at the city of Byron Bay (most easterly point of Australia), which is 3 hours' drive north of my town, and that weather is heading south -- should hit here in a few hours. The Bellinger River divides Bellingen in two -- North Bellingen is where I live, and the main part of town is south of the river. I live about 100 metres from the river and there's a general store nearby, so even if we're flooded in, we can get provisions. The bridge hasn't gone under yet, but it's getting close and I expect that within two hours North Bellingen will be cut off, and probably by tomorrow it will be about 3 metres under water. The rain right now is very heavy, and the sky is very dark, but it's expected to get wetter and windier this afternoon. The wind is the most concerning thing -- up north it's caused a lot of damage. One bloke died just by standing near his window. We are now getting thunder for the first time and I might have to go offline. will keep being updated.

Because so many of the power lines are strung on poles through the bush, it's likely that fallen trees and branches will cause blackouts. If I appear to be lost, I'll try, if possible, to have status reports here.

I'm almost completely out of wood and the firewood bloke is flooded in, but I have a big pot of chicken and vegie soup on the wood stove, firewood for 24 hours and enough food for a week. :)

See ya soon.

* Update 1:50pm Thursday: Lavenders Bridge is now closed. Misty and I went to Community Radio 2BBB-FM to raise things off the floor, because in the March 31 flood, for the first time in its 25 years, the building was flooded, and this flood looks like being at least as serious. Fingers crossed.

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