Ice, Gale and Storm

It’s natural disaster time!

Well, yesterday afternoon Perth was hit with the biggest storm in, well certainly over a decade, and according to some people since records began. While it didn’t affect my part of Bayswater much, some parts of the city were absolutely pummeled with howling gales, pounding rain and hailstones the size of golf balls (yes that’s a cliche, but seriously, they were actually as big as golf balls). There was flash flooding, lightning strikes and even a landslide on Mount Eliza which blocked Mounts Bay road and buried a bunch of apartments chest deep in mud.

It happened to be my day off yesterday so I missed the excitement at the office when the roof of the light well shattered under the onslaught and the storm poured in, smashing windows and flooding the ground floor. Happily my colleagues took plenty of photos which they’ve given me leave to put up on my Flickr stream (which I shall do in due course).

Nedlands was absolutely pummeled. The trees have been almost completely stripped of foliage, and in some cases bark. At UWA the 80 year old stained glass windows of Winthrop Hall have been almost completely destroyed and a retaining wall at the new semi-sunken library building collapsed – filling the place with at least a foot of mud. In Subiaco the pavements along Rokeby road were solid green with leaves ripped from the plane trees and both my morning and afternoon buses had to divert around roads with downed power lines. The total estimated damage is over 100 million dollars and the city has been declared an official natural disaster zone.

Fun.

Oh, and on the way back through Subiaco I saw a man chase a rat out of his store with a broom. I don’t know if this was connected to the storm, but it is worthy of note. Apparently (according to the bus driver) when they demolished the old TAFE College a few months ago they didn’t bother to poison all the rats first, with the result that the cheery little fellows dispersed through the surrounding area. This particular rodent took cover in the next shop along (a high class clothing boutique) and the shopkeeper seemed content with this situation, leaving it to its own devices.

Some of my storm photos are up on Flickr, the rest will be up soon. Ish.

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