Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Wow, what a weekend (understatement).
We were having such a wonderful time on Sunday sitting around at the beach having a few drinks (as you do). Radio was on so we could listen to the cyclone alarms. We took down all our shade cloths and turned boats upside down and just sat back and waited. Towards late afternoon I said to a couple of the others, "can you hear that!"�.They looked at me strange and said that they could not hear anything.
Normally we could always hear the sounds of the lorikeets and the black cockatoos ect, but it was just dead silence, we could have heard a pin drop.
Just on dark, my wife Cathy decided to take the kids home for some dinner and to get ready for school in the morning.
I had a bit of a sleep and woke about 7.30pm so the neighbors decided to drive me home just around the corner. It was when we pulled up at my beachfront that we heard the warning sirens on the radio and the words "This is to advise all the residents of the northern beaches that you must evacuate immediately". It was a mandatory evacuation, MUST LEAVE.
I ran up to the house and told Cathy to grab mattresses and pillows act and lets get the hell out of here. We proceeded to ring a few neighbors and started to invite them to my safe work place in town. Then we loaded the dog, cat, the birds and the girls into the cars and headed away from the beach, not really sure what we were going to come back to. Apparently just after we got out the police and emergency workers arrived at the beach to begin knocking on doors and clearing out the rest of the people.
At work, by the time everyone arrived we ended up with 4 dogs, 2 cats, 2 birds, 14 adults and 3 kids. Most stayed up for hours playing cards and listening to the radio and watching the devastation of poor Innisfail, 200 kms north of us. They finally let us back into the beach at about 10.30am where we all caught up on some well-earned rest, getting ready now for Cyclone Wati, which is coming in from the same direction.