Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Yesterday's storm in Geelong

from w
Peceli will tell his story (after golf or later) of going to Melbourne and the storm there, but here are some pictures from the Geelong Advertiser - of yesterday's sky at dawn, Ryrie Street from opposite Macdonalds and a tree down in a nearby suburb of St Albans Park where a tree fell on the scout hall. This morning I had a look inside our greenhouse which doesn't have a back wall (because the fence used to be there) and everything is in a mess - tables down, pots on the ground, so I had better start cleaning it up after I finish posting this and another blog!

A news item from the Addie lists some of the damage yesterday.
Reporter: Aleks Devic
The fierce winds sparked more than 2000 calls to the SES and the CFA was kept busy with several spot fires after trees were uprooted and landed on powerlines. Geelong residents caught in the ferocious storm described the scenes as chaotic. The day caused devastation across the region including: A TREE crushing two cars in Belmont; A SCHOOL bus filled with children being hit by flying roof sheeting; A LAUNCH boat being swept away to sea and nearly crashing into Smorgys Restaurant at Cunningham Pier; A SCOUT building at St Albans Park sustaining damage from a falling tree; and A BRICK wall collapsing in Belmont. Geelong Weather Services director Lindsay Smail said an intense pressure system with a cold front caused the gusty winds yesterday. Colac was among the hardest hit, with winds topping 132km/h at 1pm. "The summer was so dry and warm and when this comes upon us we think it's unusual but all the weather is doing is getting back to a normal type pattern," Mr Smail said.
"There was also muddy rain across Geelong with very strong winds picking up dust across paddocks. We also had many dust storms." Newtown's Ben Beard said the wind flipped over a large billboard trailer along Melbourne Rd in North Geelong. "It was absolute carnage with trees and rubbish flying through the air it was crazy," Mr Beard said. "It was like something from Armageddon or a like a storm in a desert like Iraq."
Commuters heading back to Geelong from Melbourne faced a horror drive home with the West Gate Bridge having two outer lanes closed in both directions and speed reduced to 40km/h. Jetstar media manager Simon Westaway said the powerful winds delayed an Avalon to Perth flight yesterday by 90 minutes. "The severe winds created some problems in terms of getting passengers to board and disembark safely," Mr Westaway said. "It's unfortunate, but safety comes first and there were times where it was too risky to fly." Geelong CFA boss Bob Barry said several powerlines, which hit the ground, caused grass fires throughout Geelong but all were contained. Leopold's Matilda Fitzgerald said at one stage as she looked towards Melbourne there was a purple haze and 20 minutes later it was an orange dust cloud. "There were also a few mini water tornadoes at Lake Connewarre," Ms Fitzgerald said. Winchelsea's Kaylene Stocks said there was debris scattered all over the town. "At one stage it looked like there was a huge bush fire and the dust was so thick you couldn't see in front of you."



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