This time last week I was heading to Aida, a wonderful, albeit rainy experience. Little did I know that rain was nothing compared to what was to come. Sydney has been lashed by rain and wind in almost cyclonic conditions for the past three days. The normally beautiful harbour is a murky, threatening brown.
In our house there are a number of new leaks in the ceiling but nothing worse fortunately. The huge Moreton Bay fig trees beside the house were swaying and creaking as the wind gusted, that, together with the rain pounding down on the roof and the river running down the hill, made going out a scary prospect and I worried they might be blown over. I think their strong root system in the sewage pipes that run down the road saved us! Friends have lost huge gum trees in their garden which missed their house, lucky for them, others weren’t so lucky. There must be hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage. Even in our rather sheltered inner city Balmain there are branches scattered everywhere and more, I saw a car crushed under a large tree not too far away. The unsung every day heroes are those volunteers of the SES and professionals out helping rescue people, putting tarpaulins up on damaged houses, those restoring electricity to the 200,000 houses without power, working through the storms, providing shelter for people evacuated from their flooded homes – thank you, thank you, thank you for your selflessness, generosity of soul and hard work. I salute you.