Lucky these people didn’t build their house a little bit to the side, wasn’t it? One evening in 1893 a very selective storm cloud opened near the top of Mount William in Victoria and dumped an amazing amount of rain over an acre of land close beside a house.
Reportedly, the water that fell caused a torrent that was several feet deep, and fell so hard it churned up the ground. It then tore down the mountain in a torrent a hundred yards wide.
Apparently it was not the first time this phenomenon had been observed in that area, this being the third time it had happened.
If that was my house I bet my washing line would have been exactly where the water was concentrated. Yes, I just came racing in from saving my washing from the rain moments before I found this article…
We have had a fair bit of rain in the last few days. I have put in this extra post today as there is not any point saving it until tomorrow. Melbourne weather being what it is, there is every chance it will be bright and sunny, regardless of the forecast, causing a rainy day article to be entirely inappropriate!
The Herald-Sun newspaper website has a few photos of inappropriately attired office workers caught in the rising waters on Wednesday on the corner of Williams and Lonsdale streets. This article is from 1928 with a photo of the floodwaters in Elizabeth Street, just a few blocks from there. The skyline is very different these days!
The caption reads: This photograph, taken during a flash of lightning from the steps of ”The Argus’ office, shows the flooded state of Elizabeth street at the height of the storm. The tramcar could not proceed owing to the flood water.
The Argus 13 Sep 1934 nla.news-article10956764
In my post last Thursday I said that rains of strange things, using frogs as an example, being caused by a whirlwind sucking them up sounded a little silly unless the frogs were accompanied by some of their immediate surroundings such as smelly water and pond weed. How can wind be selective enough to only pick up the frogs?
This article was one where I believe the wind caused the unexpected delivery. These ants were dropped on the deck of the boat along with dust. Ants and dust sucked up by the wind sounds perfectly logical. Not sure how impressed I would be about a sudden ant infestation on my yacht though.
It is raining and cold here, the washing takes ages to dry, the dog has turned the backyard into a mud pit and I will soon have to get my trusty lumberjack to deliver another load of wood for the fire. That means I will be spending a cold and wet afternoon in the rain carting the wood up the front steps and stacking it on the verandah. Brrrr. My pathetic complaints pale into insignificance compared to the weather some places in the world have been experiencing lately and definitely not as bad as the weather events detailed in this article.
An umbrella would not really help you with any of the seventy pound hailstones in Germany from 1348 and those showers of blood would really annoy me if I had just put the washing on the line.
Chasms in the earth spewing forth poisonous fluids and destructive fires that consume all in its way, gasses rising from the ground, infecting the air, and bringing on a plague. You don’t want any of this in your neighbourhood. I am interested in the way they have connected the fire and vapor from the earth with the venomous creatures falling from the sky. I don’t think that one generally follows the other as a matter of course. We have been hearing many reports of movements of the earth lately with volcanoes and earthquakes causing anxiety around the world but I don’t recall any rains of poisonous creatures being reported. I am not sure how the young serpents falling from the sky can be attributed to the rising gas either. If the insects were winged they can fall to earth but how did the serpents get up there to fall down? Poisonous, and, after impact, probably annoyed, creatures dropping from the sky sounds like the type of weather that would keep me at home.
The soft, fatty substance resembling butter that fell from the sky during the night in 1695 in Ireland would never be smeared upon any part of my body unless that body part had already been amputated. I wonder what the astonishing cures were? Hmmm….(cue fade out to peasant women talking over the back fence) Those terrible lumps on my body are turning black, Mavis. Maybe this mystery substance that I found in the garden might help. Did you hear about Mrs Smith up the road? Died of the plague, they say. If she had some of this stuff I’m sure she would have been ok…..
Due to huge amounts of rain over the last few days part of one of the roads out to the popular tourist spot Wilsons Promontory in Victoria has been covered by a landslip and one of the bridges has been cut to another campground in the park. Yesterday there were a few hundred people stuck there, including school groups. Yesterday, and again today they are airlifting out groups. Lucky buggers! Number1 son was on a school camp there last year and a group of grade 5/6 kids from our school have not long returned from a week-long camp there too. The kids all had a great time and told us all of their exciting news when they returned but can you imagine how long the stories would have been told and retold if they had been off to a camp and then they were trapped and had to be helicoptered out?
The best holidays are the ones where things go slightly awry. We have been on lots of camping trips but the ones we remember the most fondly are the ones where we teetered on the brink of disaster or the weather did it’s best to ruin it for us. We still laugh about the camping trip where the cooking fire had to be started with chemical assistance with the help of a table placed over the kindling due to the torrential rain. Then a drain had to be dug to keep the water from filling the fire hole.
Last year we took the kids on a road trip to see Ayres Rock. We were away for 5 weeks and a multitude of unexpected things happened to us and we enjoyed every minute of it. We hadn’t even made it to Adelaide and we had to find a mechanic able to stop the terrible vibration coming out of the front passenger wheel. The front end had been overhauled before we left so we were at a loss as to what it could have been. After one day of repairs and thanks to the wonderful help we received from the Toyota dealer in Clare we were back on our way, $800 lighter and carting a bag of busted bits to take back to the original grease-shy mechanic.
A few days later we pulled into Coober Pedy in flooding rain. The streets were flooded and that is not a town that has any concept of storm water drains so the water just hung around until it found somewhere else to be. We didn’t moan about it and we didn’t stress about having to put up the canvas top of the camper and get drowned in the process. We just laughed at the silliness of floods in the desert and took the opportunity to treat the kids to an underground hotel for the night. They were thrilled and we found a caravan park the next day. I bet they couldn’t tell you anything about that caravan park but the hotel has been regularly mentioned since.
When we got to Ayres Rock campground in Yulara it was still pouring. Even though we had driven for hundreds of kilometers that day we had been rained on nearly all the way. We set up between rain showers and were lucky that we have our own power supply in the camper as the rain had got into their mains and blown the power in our half of the caravan park. Again we laughed as we had power and pretty much everyone else around us just had a cold dinner and went to bed.
A week later we were taking the Mereenie Loop road from Kings Canyon to Alice Springs and our next blip occurred. We were driving along quietly (no we don’t hoon in the bush, too much to see) and I asked the leader of our expedition if the car was getting hot. He looked at the dash and I got a don’t-ask-me-stupid-questions look. I told him I could smell radiator water. He looked back at the dash and we came to a skidding halt. We got out to find the entire contents of the radiator spilling out onto the sand of the road 5 kilometers out of the aboriginal community of Hermannsburg. That meant we were still 136kms from Alice Springs. Hermannsburg’s claim to fame is being the birthplace of Albert Namatjira. Sadly it is not famous for it’s car repair facilities and we had to try to sort it out on our own. The leader of the expedition is quite mechanical but I don’t think there is a person in the world that would choose to breakdown in that situation. The tip of the fan had snapped off and made a hole in the bottom of the radiator. Damn. We started poking around under the bonnet and suddenly another Victorian plated car pulled over to see if we needed help. It was a couple on their way back from the Alice Springs truck show and as fate had it one half of the couple was a mechanic. 2 hours later the radiator was out, plugged up, back in and full of camper water. We were back on our way and very impressed with the random roadside service. As we made our careful way to Alice on the bitumen the tailpipe gave up the ghost and needed seeing to and 2 legs of the old roof rack finally decided that the spare tyre was too much and parted ways. We were still laughing as we pulled into Alice and started looking for another mechanic.
Whenever we go on holiday something goes wrong. I don’t think that a perfect holiday is possible and, really, I love it when things happen that make you remember that place or day forever. No 1 son will never forget the town of Burra where he found what appeared to be a real human skeleton in a dusty box in an old junk shop. No 2 son always says ‘I didn’t like the ants’ when asked what he thought of Ayres Rock after an ant climbed up his jeans and bit him on the leg while we were admiring the rock from the track.
Perfect is not fun. Disaster is memorable. The people at Wilsons Prom have one of the best holiday stories they will ever get now!
It’s been raining. We have seen flooding and at times wished for boats to get about in. Nevertheless I can’t stand to see this water flowing without being used constructively and I’m not the only one. Years of drought have so skewed the way we use water that any time we see water in the wild and doing its own thing we feel like we have to gather it up and save it for later. When we were nearly flooded recently I found myself thinking ‘I should get a bucket and scoop some of that up’. The plants I would use the water on were completely drowned . The streets were awash. Shops were flooded. Rivers bursting their banks. Yet here I was thinking that one bucket of water saved for later would help…
When we were kids a hot summer day meant the sprinkler on the lawn. Now if you turn on the hose you expect the water police to tap you on the shoulder. I remember the summer when everyone wanted a Slip-and-Slide for xmas. Santa didn’t come through for us but our Pop made us one with an immense length of plastic and a soaker hose. We turned the garden into a muddy mess and I still remember how much fun we had.
No wonder the lawns in my childhood memory were so much greener. We would play under the sprinkler all day and then the dads in the street would come home from work and get out there with the hose and water their gardens for an hour to wind down from work . None of that anymore. In our garden, plants get planted and when they die we just look for something a bit tougher to fill the hole with next time. The only things that get extra care around here are the vegies and only then if they put in a bit of effort themselves.
Our lawn is usually a greenish patch of grass-like substance outside the back door. At the moment you could almost call it lawn as it has spent a considerable amount of time recently under ankle deep water and looks all the better for it. Maybe I should install a ‘low level shower-head’ out there and send the kids out in their undies for a wash each night. Lawn watered, childhood tradition upheld.
Hmmm…is that the water police I hear knocking at the front door?