Saturday 31st May 2008
At about 5.45am the lightning started it was spectacular, then came the rain and thunder also spectacular in their own way. This was the start of a storm that was going to send a Tornado through Busselton, and I don’t mean a fighter jet.
The kids got up surprisingly easily again today at 6am and were positively impressed by the wind and rain that was lashing the house, we were supposed to be picking up Fliss from outside the bottle shop at 7.15am but just as a huge crash of thunder sounded overhead, the phone rang and it was Fliss putting on her terrified voice informing me in language that I could not possibly print on these family friendly pages that she does not do thunder and lightning and if I want her to go into work I will have to pick her up from home.
On the way to pick Fliss up we came to a section of the Bussell Highway, no more than 50 meters wide, where there were bits of broken branches and bush scattered across the road, as we were driving through this we noticed a roof or half of one anyway sitting in somebody’s front garden.
It would appear that the Tornado hit land about 500 meters away from us, it then headed inland keeping an almost straight line as it went. It damaged several roofs on its way and ripped up quite a few trees, one of the girls at work phoned in to say that she might be a few minutes late because her mum was giving her a lift and they were trying to get round all the fallen trees. She said that although her road was unaffected, the next road along from her had felt the full force of it.
After work we went for a walk along the beach only to find that it was absolutely covered in seaweed and washed up or down tree stumps, as we walked along we were talking to a lady who was walking her dog and she was telling us that this morning at 7.15am she came down to the beach to walk her dogs but couldn’t because the water level was so high it was lapping the top of the dunes. She was telling us that further up the beach where the Tornado had hit land it had made a right mess, thinking about it she probably didn’t say it had made a “right mess” because that is not something Aussies say, but it was definitely something along those lines. This lady was telling us that when she takes her dogs for a walk she drives down to the end of one of the roads that goes down to the beach and parks there, today she had to park about 10 yards further up the road because 10 yards of road was now sitting in a crumbled heap on the beach. She was telling us that when she first started walking her dogs on the beach , the road was about 100 yards longer than it is now. Her dogs don’t look very old, the whole of Busselton is as flat as a pancake, there are no sea defences to speak of and the Shire (council) are too busy arguing the toss over who is going to pay for the repair of the Jetty. The Shire wants to build a cycle path along the shore from Busselton to Dunsborough, at the rate the coast is being eroded if they don’t get their act together soon they will have to plan for it to be alongside the Bypass.
Ian took the kids to Stilts on Broadwater Resort but didn’t stay long because the Man Flu hit him, he was shaking and sweating and thought that he might be better off in bed. It was pitch black outside and the kids refused to walk along the beach path because they didn’t have a torch, so Ian had to walk along the main road with them which was an even more frightening experience; Australians aren’t known for being able to keep their cars off the footpath while driving.