Tropical Cyclone Yasi
Well, here I am updating my blog on the eve of a cyclone. I feel kind of stupid doing it, because the real bloggable stuff won’t be happenning until later in the week. So what shall I do? Well… I think I’ll talk about how I’m feeling now, and the mood in the city. Then after the cyclone hits — say around Thursday — I’ll update again, and tell you all what went down.
Now there’s a possibility that I won’t have power or internet access for a while, which could mean that it might not be possible to update my blog again until… well… the next blog. But I’m pretty secure where I am, and we have a cyclone shelter, so I don’t think you have to worry about me never updating the site again!
The strip today is a nice big fight strip. And if you’re joining us for the first time because of the debut of A Townsville Fairytale in Thursday’s Townsville Bulletin… then welcome! I’m excited about that debut.
I guess I should talk about the cyclone, now.
Townsville… how is Townsville? Townsville right now is really, really quiet.
This isn’t our first cyclone. It’s not even our first cyclone this year. It’s not even our first cyclone this fortnight. We had a little preview with tropical cyclone anthony last week, which hit south of us, but which looked like it was going to hit us for a while.
So most of the preperations were already done. The city is, almost serenly calm. Nobody’s panicking, nobody’s running around screaming. Everyone’s worried, but everyone’s joking about it to. It’s all you can do. People are checking their phones, tuning their radios to 4TO and buying their newspapers. People are just doing all the little things they can do to have a little sense of control.
Because Yasi is terrifying. It’s the biggest cyclone in recorded history — at least that’s what I’ve heard. Even if it doesn’t hit Townsville, and last time I checked it wasn’t headed our way, we’re still going to be buffetted by at least a category 2 blow. If Yasi turns and hits us, it could tear the city to shreds.
But Townsville is ready. People are buying batteries, and bread, and petrol… well, okay, they’ve bought them. There’s no bread, or bottled water, or radios, or gas cylinders left in the city. (There might be, but that exaggeration sounds more dramatic.) People always buy when a cyclone comes, and Yasi has people hitting retail big time. The local Bunnings Hardware warehouse is doing a rip-roaring trade. Heck, even me and my dad went there so we could get wood to board up some of our windows.
The retail centres might be buzzing, but the rest of the city is dead quiet. There’s no activity in the parks, the playgrounds, and many businesses haven’t openned. There’s no children playing, the city is withdrawing into its protective shell.
Townsville will cope. We’re really well positioned geographically. We have a massive army base. We’re ready for this thing.
But I think we’re still a bit scared. At least I know I am.