Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Urubici - Tornado 1 In 100 Year Plus Event

The weather was weird all day, the cloud plumes reaching for the skies then settling, one or two fruiting some light rain ....Jordan hit it right on the knocker, later that afternoon the skies turned black, the wind picked up and it was not long before we closed all the windows and shutters, put the bikes in the barn and closed the doors then bang it hit.

The beginning

IMG_2982 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

The last photo I took before we headed for cover, camera does it no justice.

IMG_2985 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

There were branches flying, crashes and bangs, lightning and very heavy rain coming straight down then in sheets, the ferocity and speed was incredible, the lights flickered a few times over 15 - 20 minutes then darkness … followed by more bangs and crashing and more debris flying through the air…. just when we thought we were at its peak and it was not going to get worse it picked up and really hit and I mean REALLY hit.

Heavy ceramic clay roof tiles were flying past the windows and breaking all over the ground and deck area, one shutter got sucked open off it mounts and quick thinking from Jordan saved it from certain demolition.

If it wasn't bad enough it then got worse, all four of us hiding under the mezzanine floor waiting for the trees to come through the roof, there was water pouring in through the ceiling everywhere and water flowing across the floor, we were shifting furniture and beds to escape the waterfalls now developing, shifting beds and placing buckets while being very mindful of the anger going on outside and staying well clear of the window despite having storm shutter on the outside.

Several times the house shook with tree branches smashing into the side of the house and some landing on the roof smashing tiles with one penetrating the T&G ceiling splitting the ceiling.

Jordan had rung his wife and sister who were in town in the car and said don’t come back but they were already on their way, they fought for space amidst trees and airborne debris.

The first pics when we walked out the door

IMG_3031 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

IMG_3011 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

IMG_3019 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

IMG_2992 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Then this, beautiful finish to an angry evening

IMG_3083 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

IMG_3087 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

When the weather had settled back enough down to rain and lighter wind we made a break for it to get to the girls in the car.

The last section of the road only .5 km away from the house was now a show stopper, the trees down across the road and one claiming the power line hence darkness, the wind and lightning claiming many victims with tree limbs torn and blown off, some suffering lightning strike, fences were smashed and stuff scattered everywhere.

We were armed with chain saws and axes but soon found it to be a far greater task than first thought so the car was left there for the night and we concentrated on getting everyone home under the roof (what was left of it...unknown in the dark).

The naked skeleton of the eaves hanging out giving us an un-warming welcome back to the house, branches and debris everywhere as well as a sea of smashed roof tiles lying dead on the ground.

IMG_3010 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

After the extremely warm welcoming we had been given by Jordan and Martha I felt like my own house had just been torn up.

Ellen had managed to make tea successfully on the gas, we lilt many candles for lighting and had tea, the subject of discussion the storm that just wrecked the place, this as it turned out to be a 1 in 100 plus year or more event and we were here for it.

IMG_3006 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Whiskey, Chardonay and various other potions helped calm the nerves as a game plan was hatched for the following days cleanup. We were due to head to Florinopilos the following day so we put that back a day to get the house and yard back in order as best we could, as at writing this report now at 2.00pm (on that day following) we still have no power.

IMG_3001 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

IMG_3009 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Power came back on around 4.00pm so computers, torches, phones etc all plugged back in … just in case!!!

The day was a cleanup day and to sort the roof out enough so it would not leak, many tile gone so improvising making the eaves shorter, the entire roof had been shuffled and partially misplaced so a job for the professionals.

IMG_3014 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

IMG_3033 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

It was a game of remove the tiles, make a path, refit the tiles so down they came and up they went with a chain of people.

IMG_0171 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Ellen bringing an empty wheelbarrow back after dumping a lot of roof tiles

IMG_0183 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

We had another thunderstorm but todays one turned out to be a normal thunderstorm so only heavy rain and a light display … pretty relieved to say the least.

Coupla last pics of the surroundings

IMG_3070 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

IMG_3058 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

IMG_3051 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

IMG_3026 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Tomorrow, Florinopilos at the coast after exciting times in Urubici.

Huge thanks to Jordan and Martha for having us and we are grateful to be able to help in your time of need too

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