Well that was cold and nasty, but I have to be thankful that I was one of the lucky ones. I left work on Tuesday night in almost horizontal freezing rain. Driving home, you could see bins strewn around the streets from the blasting wind. I wasn’t even in my street when I knew what I was coming home to. The street lights were out and I couldn’t see a single house with a light on.
It was around 11pm at this point and pretty much pitch black inside my house. I went to grab the torch from where it normally lives, only to find it wasn’t where it usually lives. So by the dim light of the phone I made my way around the house to doublecheck there was nothing that the wind could catch and then went inside, had a quick snack and crawled into my bed. It was a bit cold so I threw an extra blanket on and eventually fell asleep to the sound of the howling wind rattling the windows.
I woke up pretty early the next morning and noticed the LED numbers of my alarm clock were blinking again. Somehow in the middle of that appalling storm, people had got out there and restored power to my suburb while I slept!
So a couple of things occurred to me about this week’s weather (apart that I should really be more disciplined with putting things back where they are supposed to go):
Firstly, you have to give some credit to the Tas Networks workers who worked through the night in absolutely abysmal conditions and restored power to many homes before the residents had even had much opportunity to be inconvenienced by their blackouts. And can I emphasise, it was really awful out there. Powerful cold winds and sporadic downpours of really heavy rain. There was also no shortage of debris flying around and working near any trees would have been unnerving for the fear of fallen branches (some areas were considered too dangerous to even go into). Yes, it’s their job, but that doesn’t make it any easier. The next time one of your colleagues complains about the work conditions in their warm building you might remind them there are tougher jobs they could be doing.
Another group of people who had it a lot harder than most of us are the homeless. The longest I was caught in the weather on Tuesday night was 15 minutes or so, but for the rest of the time I was either inside a building, my car and finally, blissfully in my own home (sans electricity but still pretty happy about the world). Imagine if you were sleeping rough last night. A friend of mine suggested that anyone who has been complaining about how nasty the weather was should think about donating to the unfortunate people who don’t have the luxury of a home to protect them from it. I think that is a pretty fair point and will have to put my money where my mouth is and go and make a donation this week.