When it rains, it pours

So, we were going to finish of our Babinda trip with the Devil’s Pool as our next post, but circumstances have made it appropriate to talk about something that Innisfail is not short on: Rain. Or more correctly for this post: Storms.

We’ve gotten pretty accustomed to an afternoon or evening storm most days. In fact, there is the rhythmic rumbling of thunder in the background while I’m writing this at 4:30 on a Sunday arvo.

Whilst we’ve been assured that rainfall is actually well down compared to the usual for this time of year, it has been a pleasant change to see regular rain and green grass after moving from the drought stricken Darling Downs. But on Friday night we had a storm that I’m willing to describe as a little taste test of that North Queensland phenomenon that did not make our bucket list: Cyclones.

It was sudden. It was loud. Lightning flashed. Rain lashed the side of the house. Trees cracked and thudded on the ground. Debris was hitting the roof. Everything rumbled. The power went out. The girls squealed.

Thankfully it passed on pretty quickly, and as it was still light out, we had a chance to survey the damage. Everyone on the street had the same idea. There were branches down on the street and in every yard. The neighbourhood wheelie bins, ours included, had taken a tumble. There were shredded leaves stuck to the side of our house like confetti.

After securing the bins and any other loose items, we got the generator going for the fridge, set up some camping lights, and settled in for a family game of Cluedo. The drinks were cold, the company was engaging, and we didn’t miss the electricity.

The next morning we took a look at the banana farm down the road, so that the girls could see the impact that even such a short severe storm had on them. Nothing akin to the widespread destruction of Cyclone Larry in 2006, but I’m sure the stock losses will be felt nonetheless.

Now that we’ve cleaned up our yard, apart from the snapped off bottlebrush and the pile of green waste destined for the tip, you’d never know the storm hit. We’re also super impressed with how quickly everyone else in the neighbourhood dug in and cleared the fallen trees and debris. Almost like it never happened.

Cyclone Larry

Mr and Mrs M were living in Cairns when Cyclone Larry hit, so were spared the worst. For us, the actual cyclone was more like a significant storm. We had to contend with power outages and some fallen trees, but the actual property damage in Cairns was minimal.

Innisfail, on the other hand, bore the brunt. And it is pretty clear already that the cyclone had such a widespread impact that some businesses never really recovered.

Mrs M did observe the damage first-hand coming down to help clean up the yards of work colleagues who were too busy helping others to look to their own homes. It was unforgettable in terms of the magnitude of the property damage, and field after field of decimated banana crops.

Here are some links if you’re interested in a short history of Cyclone Larry:

There are plenty of YouTube videos available, but this one is a good photo record highlighting the destruction in the region (plus it has some great pictures of cassowaries!).

Devil’s Pool still to come ….

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