Nov 27, 2014

Hail Scary

We were on our way back from dropping Eloise at dancing, via Homezone where I had received a text alert saying there were thunderstorms around, so far so reasonable normal. Northbound to drop our playmates C&G off, I looked over my shoulder to observe that L, after a whole day tenaciously holding onto what passes for consciousness, had finally relented and was gently slumbering. Looking a little further round, there was a spectacularly ominous grey sky looming through the rear-view window.

So, a quick disengagement of the second childseat later, a couple of rumbles in the air, strangely reminiscent of the discarding of a large piece of sheet metal from an over-enthusiastic home improvement, we were headed back for the five-minute drive home. About a minute into that leg of the journey, stopped at the traffic lights, a gust of wind and a squall of rain and suddenly visibility was down to fifty metres and we were in the middle of a fast-moving cloud of water lashing us arhythmically as the wind pulsed and the clouds would be skittering overhead if only we could see them.

By the time we got home, I was glad of the electric garage door as we drove the car underneath the house which was already showing the early signs of flooding. Lyra was extracted from the car, which woke her up, but the storm would have done that in a few minutes anyway as the wind really got up and the huge bamboo and trees in the back garden started to wave around rather alarmingly amid the still-torrential rain.

I nipped downstairs to take a little video of the torrentette running past the house, and the hail started, with stones the size of marbles skittering down and bouncing around, grapeshot applause on the tin roof, little blocks of ice at odds with the still-warm air dancing around underneath the house, bringing the rain with it, the drains overflowing, the water tank overwhelmed, the thunder still rumbling around.

Violent and exciting though all this was, it seems we were only on the fringes of the largest hailstorm to hit Brisbane in 30 years(reportedly), with many many windows in South Brisbane and the City Centre punctured and shattered, roofs blown off, cars battered by hail, streets flooded, trees downed and general chaos ensuing. Nobody died, but there were some injuries, and a great deal of damage; the Army was called in to help to clear things up.

Half an hour later, a message from dance school came through that all classes were cancelled because the teacher couldn't get there and could we pick up our little treasures please. Eloise was very unhappy to be taken away an hour early when they were playing such a lovely game of Ninja, whatever that is.

Down at the dance school in Newmarket the locals were a little dazed and there was tree debris strewn across the streets. We checked a couple of cars parked on the street for hail damage but they seemed fine.

It had stopped raining and Eloise just couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.

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