The Big Wet

Hobart Rivulet
Hobart Rivulet taken by my friend Katie

It rained and it rained and it rained. Piglet told himself that never in all his life, and he was goodness knows how old – three was it, or four? – Never had he seen so much rain.

– A.A.Milne, Winnie the Pooh.

I am writing to you today from my place of warmth and comfort after the big storm that Hobart had last night. I should be writing my novel but my head is full of the storm. So the novel can come later.

I enjoy thunder storms. I love the noise and the lightning and the sound of rain on the roof. I also love my sleep, so I enjoyed the first part of the storm last night but I was tucked up in bed and cosy when the real storm hit and I missed the lightning striking every six seconds and the hail and the change in wind direction. I know about this because my son was up and watching it all and he informed us about it this morning.

I also missed the really heavy rain. I thought I’d seen the heavy rain, and I had, but the really heavy rain came down after I was asleep and formed a torrent down the side of our house and along our garden path and the water crept into our bedroom from under the house and from the garden.

There was a torrent pouring down our driveway to the units below and two garage doors have been pushed in and all the garden from unit number 4 is now in the driveway of unit number 6. And the bath in number 6 is full of water that came in through the garage.

I get excited by these events. I’m loving all the stories, all the pictures, all the videos all over Facebook and Twitter. I’m excited by the updates from emergency services with the Auslan interpreter.

And then, as it all calms down, I realise what a job of mopping up there is to do. Not just in my house (where I’m wussing out and letting Moz do most of the heavy lifting) but in our street where there are rocks all over the road and a pile up of mud and clay on the corner, in our little town where the local supermarket, pharmacy, newsagent etc. are all under water, as is our church building, and in our city where the rivulet went on a rampage and cars were carried along and where the university law library has been flooded so badly that books are strewn all over the oval from the water.

I don’t know how many weeks and months it takes to recover from something like this.

On the bright side, there were no reported injuries as of 11am today. There were no deaths that I know of. There’s a car accident now, but most people are being sensible and staying out of the danger zones.

But this will be a time when we see just how much of a community we are. Just how much we all pull together and look after each other. I hope that we do. I need to get off my butt and go and help someone else out – not least my husband who is wringing out wet towels as we speak.

I hope you stay warm and dry today, and even if you don’t live in Tassie, that you are able to reach out to others and build community where you are.