Thursday, October 6, 2016

Spring Storms

Greetings dear friends,

You may have heard that we had major storms recently and the whole state of South Australia was thrown into darkness with a state wide blackout. Could this be because our local coal fired power station has closed? I think so, but the government are making all sorts of excuses as to why this happened in this day and age. Absolutely ridiculous in my opinion.

We were without power for 25 hours and my parents for 48 hours. Other remote places are still waiting for it to come back on and it is over a week since the storms went through. Phone coverage was also out.

Here is a photo of the now defunct power station. This was taken on the day they demolished one of the small stacks on the right.

Down it goes...

One by one the stacks and infrastructure will disappear and the land will be returned to its original vegetation.

Back to the storms...
We had to venture out in the bad weather to pick our grandson up from school.
This was taken on the way.

And this is what we encountered when we reached the school.
Because of the gale force winds, a tree had fallen and it knocked over power lines and they were blowing around in the wind with sparks flying everywhere. A car had accidentally driven over a live cable and the occupants were stuck in the car.  Hubby told the lady to sit tight and not get out of the car! He phoned emergency numbers and the school to warn them of the danger just outside the school grounds. Hubby parked our car in the middle of the road with hazard lights on and redirected traffic until the police and emergency services arrived.

The conditions afterwards while driving home were quite scary. The wind was so strong it was blowing the rain horizontal across the roads, it was like driving through a cyclone. It left trees down and lots of other damage around the town. Thank goodness our place received no damage.


More photos of the storm can be seen here.

A few days later we went with the old ute, chainsaw and trailer to chop up some wood from the fallen trees.


It is so lovely to see the beautiful fields of green everywhere. We have had so much rain during Winter. Normally it would be dry and brown at this time of year.



Next we went to a nearby town where a tornado had ripped through the outskirts of town.  You could track where it had gone, there was debris everywhere.  It plowed through the caravan park up rooting trees and turning caravans on their roof!  We drove down the side road and there were fences down on properties with trees, branches and leaves strewn everywhere. It also brought down a power pole and cut electricity.

This is what the wind did to power poles nearby. And this is what caused the whole state to lose electricity.
Image result for power lines at melrose
image source

Anyway back to our wood cutting expedition. We pulled up where a farmer and his wife were cleaning up along the road and asked if it was okay to chop up some of the wood. Because my parents have just moved to the district he said yes, so hubby got busy!




We had a full load to take home.
The next day we found another tree locally and chopped that up too. We now have twelve months worth of wood for the fire.

We coped well with the blackout.  Hubby bought fuel that day because the warnings were out on the radio. He tested the generator to make sure it was working okay. We ran it to keep the fridges and freezers going and to charge our mobile phones. We have a gas stove so was able to cook meals and have teas and coffees. My freezers are full and so is my pantry. We had plenty to eat if needed.

The local supermarkets were thrown into turmoil and one did open its doors but the shelves were pretty bare. They lost lots of stock from the fridges and freezers.

Did you get storms in your neck of the woods?   Were you able to cope without electricity if it went out?


Wishing you all well,

17 comments:

  1. It is scary how quickly supplies stop. Hope all is settling down. We have had a sunny day today for the first time in ages.

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    1. We are experiencing heat this week Jayne. Oh how the weather changes...33C here today :)

      xTania

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  2. My goodness, the picture of that power pole all twisted and down was scary! The silver lining though is all that free wood that you are getting that will keep you warm this coming winter.

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    1. Yes Debbie, the good thing about storms is that there is free firewood available.

      xTania

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  3. Thankfully, the lower South East of SA missed getting the storms. We had high winds and rain but nothing like the north of the state.
    We lost power at 3.48pm but it was back on at 10.10pm.
    We learned a lesson with our generator. It needs to be started every so often just to check that it will work. We tried to start ours and we coudn't get it going. Hmmm, I think it needs a service!
    Other than that, we survived the few hours although I must say, the silence nearly drove me crazy. I was home alone while Gus went to collect Bri from the plane and I hated just sitting by candle light...so I went outside and sat in the car, listening to ABC talk-back radio which had people from all over ringing in telling their experiences with the black out. Very entertaining!
    Lets hope we don't see a weather event like that for a long time!

    Cheers - Joolz xx

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    1. Phil says for Gus to check the spark plug on the generator. We had problems a while back and it was the spark plug. Gus would probably know this already lol! We had lights from our solar powered batteries, (I forgot to mention that) but the youngens didn't know what to do with themselves especially when the phones went down lol!

      I listen a lot to ABC radio, they keep you informed and its a battery operated one too...bonus!

      xTania

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    2. Yes, Gus was a bit embarrassed when said generator wouldn't fire up!

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  4. Good to know you came through all that safely Tania. It sounds like your husband keeps a cool head in an emergency. As well as the fridge and freezer we also use our generator during power outages to run the water pumps.

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    1. Dear Sherri,

      Hubby and I used to be in the SES and we learned what to do in an emergency. We don't have pumps to run here yet but my parents need them to pump water to their house.

      Thank you for commenting,
      xTania

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  5. Infrastructure and right-of-way maintenance is really bad in our area. Despite living in a county of probably 250,000, we were without power for nine days about 4-5 years ago, and we're only five miles from town.

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    1. Wow nine day Gorges, that is a long time to be without power!

      We have power outages at times. This one was bigger and put the whole state of South Australia in darkness. That is a lot of people (1.7million) without power. What makes us mad is we pay the highest prices for electricity in the world and this type of thing happens. The government sells off utilities to private buyers, then we drop back years...

      Thank you for commenting.
      xTania

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  6. It's time like this us stockpilin' folk come into our own.

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    1. Yes Phil, this is where we get to use all the knowledge we have learned along the way. Extra handy that there are so many resources these days on the internet. Makes learning fun.

      xTania

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  7. Dear Tania, You did well! All that wood is wonderful and worth a fortune down here in Adelaide!
    I agree with what you said... we have a very vulnerable system without back up. We believe in very high demand i.e. a big heatwave the system will not cope. It came out also that the state gov refused the offer of generators from interstate that could have helped many people. Not impressed they do not have our interests at heart at all. So we are preparing further for more of this!
    Down here generators, candles , batteries, matches etc all sold out. Some shelves are still empty! So we need supplies of these things already on hand. One good thing was the extra rain! I hope your veggies are doing well! With love Annabel.xxx

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  8. Dear Annabel, I heard that the state government refused help by way of generators. What is wrong with the powers that be, they have no idea...

    Shops sold out of generators here too and they are still hard to come by. We are looking at getting a bigger sized one just in case there are blackouts through summer. We will be able to run everything that way.

    We haven't had much extra rain but what we had has done wonders to the country side up this way. What is usually dry and brown this time of year is incredibly green and lush, it is amazing to see the land in such great shape.

    The veggie garden is doing well, although the strong winds and some heat have taken it toll on a few things. Such very strange weather, even the plants are confused!

    xTania

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  9. Dear Tania, what a crazy time there! I'm pleased that you too, are the sensible type, who aims to be prepared for storm season. You fared admirably under the circumstances! I can just imagine the impact of the rainfall on the surrounding countryside though. It doesn't take much for the outback to spring to life, does it! I hope your week is uneventful, weather-wise this week! Love, Mimi xxx

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  10. Hi Tania. We've had a storm here this afternoon but, besides that, it's been starting to really dry out quite a bit after some Winter rain. It sounds like the storms you experienced did quite a bit of damage. Great that you were so well prepared though. It's good to know that you have essentials/what you need in situations like that. Meg:)

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I love reading your comments! Through them, I have learnt that there are some truly lovely people out there. Thank you :)