dear melbourne: spare me

Posted on Posted in journal, the weather'll kill ya

So, about a month ago, I mocked Melbourne's attempt at a flash flood. Melbourne, it would seem, is of the revenge is best served cold school of thought. Today, after a month of plotting and planning, she struck.

Originally there was a forecast of rain for today — I believe the phrase was "chance of thunderstorms".

Thunderstorms my left butt cheek.

where was deb? oh, yes, deb was right in the CENTRE of that there apocalypse. right as this was being issued.

Tessa has the story of our fleeing the State Library into the teeth of that storm, because we figured, between the clamour of the hail and the klaxons of the library's evacuation alarms, writing wasn't going to happen.

Turns out getting home wasn't going to happen either, at least not easily. The trains got me close to work, where I'd left my car, but the roads were impassable: those that weren't sunk under flooding from the rain that had nowhere to go were clogged with traffic. Stationary traffic. Walking wasn't any easier.

For a while I simply stood on the corner of Alexandra Avenue and Yarra St, staring at the bridge that used to span a road but had now graduated to spanning a river proper, and watching the cars trying to navigate their way down that river which used to be a road. Here's a hint, kids: engines? Are not made to combust water. Don't try it.

I saw cars limping past with bumpers and chassis striking sparks from the roads, semi-drowned trams, and a girl running her basket of freshly-washed laundry through the downpour.

At least this time I'd learnt my lesson and I had an umbrella. Not that it helped much.

11 thoughts on “dear melbourne: spare me

  1. Yikes. And I was joking when I told a Canberra buddy to take her Gore-Tex, wellies and brolly to Melbourne for her day-trip 😯 Glad you're safe and sound.

  2. The thing about Melbourne is it's almost guaranteed to pass quickly: the storm hit just before 3pm and had moved on by 4pm. After that it was just the chaos caused by flooded roads and panicked traffic. Melbourne topography just can't cope with the sheer volume of the downpours we're getting lately. I've never seen streets flood so quickly.

  3. @Jan: I used to love thunderstorms, but I'm afraid ever since the Hunter '07 floods, I've been a little less sanguine about weather systems getting wrathful!

    @Cristina: whoa, we made international news? That's eye-opening!

  4. A friend of mine who works at the state library said the hail sounded like bricks being through at the sky lights. Incredible. And with Melbourne you really can't tell if it's going to be 'a possible thunderstorm' or the meteorological equivalent of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse until it's there.

  5. Definitely like bricks! Tess and I had to actually raise our voices to be heard (in a room where we normally tiptoe to avoid making any noise, it's so quiet) and when the hail started we stared at each other and wondered who was throwing coconuts at the roof!

    And yes, you're perfectly right – Melbourne is famed for its swift and changeable weather at the best of times, which means storms like this form out of nothing with no warning.

    I have decided to almost never carry the laptop around again. Thumb drives are easier to waterproof 😉

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