Official Perth Stormageddon Thread

Further to comments in this thread, here’s a spot to talk about the storm. The storm follows over four months without rain in Perth.

We have some damage here – porch roof destroyed with the huge hailstones, main roof leaking. We still have power so far, fingers crossed.

There is a lot of damage across the city, and more to come. One university library is underwater, cars and roofs are ruined, and the public transport system seems to have completely broken down.

Hope all the Perthites are safe, off the roads, and not too far underwater.

Updates from WA Today [which also has a photo gallery]:

The biggest storm to hit Perth in 50 years has caused massive destruction across the city.

Within a couple of hours of the storm passing through, more than 150,000 homes were without power, residents flooded Fire and Emergency Services helplines desperate for assistance, road were underwater and traffic in some areas was at a standstill. Almost 100 sets of traffic lights were out and planes stranded at both Perth airports.

The State Emergency Service has had reports of major structural damage to several major hospitals and aged care facilities, and these cases were the priority at this stage.

Further updates in comments – add your own. The twitter tag to follow is #perthstorm, and the Facebook group to follow is I survived the Great Storm of Perth 22/3/2010, already at over 12 000 members.

This photo is from Podblack’s place – the Education, Fine Arts and Architecture library, which includes out-of-print books and folios.

looking down stairs to a flooding library. Books on the lower shelves are underwater.

Categories: Life

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24 replies

  1. Thanks for the report and photos. Hope the damage is not too hard to repair – I’m guessing tradespeople will have a huge backlog.
    I hate to see a library in that state with presumably the loss of many books. I hope no people have been hurt. (Off to read more about it – thanks for the Twitter hashtag).

  2. You probably know this if you’re in the area, but just to spread the word to stay away: A landslide has crushed two cars in the Mounts Bay Road area, at the edge of the CBD. A building in the Mts Bay Rd/Jacobs Ladder area is swamped with mud, foundations threatened and is being evacuated.
    The West is also reporting that parts of Adelaide Terrace East have subsided.
    Check the radio before sending children to school tomorrow – at least three high schools are unusable with almost complete flood damage and collapsed ceilings; no idea how many primary schools.
    Hospitals are struggling or unavailable due to flooding, collapses and electrical issues, have cancelled all elective surgery, and other non-urgent patients are urged to stay away tomorrow. WA Today reports that all funerals are cancelled tomorrow also.

  3. Obviously I’m attending the wrong uni. Murdoch got the hail (quail’s egg size) and the rain, and lots and lots of thunder, but the major problem there appeared to be that the gutters haven’t been cleared out in months and every single one of them overflowed.

  4. The school closures I could catch on the radio are: Heathridge SHS, Duncraig SHS, Shenton College, Tuart College, Ocean Reef High, Perth Mod (middle school I think?), Mindarie SHS, John XXIII, and the Perth College Junior School.

  5. It’s also being reported that the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition is pretty trashed.

  6. Damn. Best wishes Perth dwellers for the next few weeks if you’ve suffered damage. (Some of my family are slowly rebuilding after a similar-sounding storm in the Hunter region of NSW a few months back. It’s a long process.)
    The way rainless times often end with such difficult storms is like an extra curse from the fates, isn’t it?

  7. Oh, I hate to see a library damaged like that. 😦

    Which is not to minimise all the people who have had their health, safety and shelter compromised by this storm. I wish the best to everyone affected.

  8. All the best to everyone in Perth. That looks like one ripper of a storm.

  9. The EDFAA library cleanup is being blogged at EDFAApocalypse. We’re very lucky, as a State, that books have suffered more damage than humans have. But it’s still distressing seeing all those books underwater. Anyone know how livestock came through?
    I worry (a lot) about people with disabilities who were unable to get assistance during the storm. Abled folks were calling State Emergency Services non-stop for problems they could potentially deal with themselves, problems no worse than we had here at home, leaving many others with a constant engaged tone. People were not listening to the exhortations to only call if damage was threatening life and limb. What can be done about this? Should the SES have designated priority lines for people with disabilities who can’t do their own disaster management or evacuate their own selves? Or should those people have to rely on 000, who are no doubt dealing with more pressing matters again?
    It is great if private citizens can kick in and help each other out informally, but I think we need more systemic arrangements.
    PWD are also now left with cleanup and repair bills, of homes possibly more damaged due to some people’s inability to sandbag-and-tarp for themselves, and/or poor repair in the first place because of the higher incidence of poverty.
    I worry.

  10. Should the SES have designated priority lines for people with disabilities who can’t do their own disaster management or evacuate their own selves?
    This is a good point, and yes. Apart from anything else, the main lines are probably set up with a slant towards advice that disabled people aren’t necessarily in a position to follow.
    It is great if private citizens can kick in and help each other out informally, but I think we need more systemic arrangements.
    Would a kind of “clearing house” make any sense? Where you can call up with your location if you need, or in a position to provide, help? (Admittedly, I had this idea during the heavy snowfalls and cut-off villages last winter in Britain, and the Perth storm is on a bigger scale than that).

  11. I have finally got my internet back again today. Our modem was busted and it took Mum a couple of hours to figure that out.
    I have lost Nina, my beautiful huge Casio keyboard. Well, she might still recover. She had a torrent of water pour into her innards. I actually stood under the water to try to save the keyboard. That thing has been my sanity and my joy since I got it. I’ve been able to write music again with it and now it’s just – it’s buggered. I am so heartbroken.
    All my cats are okay but our magpie friends are missing. And most of our ravens. I’m very worried about them. The yard is so lonely without their lovely morning calls.

  12. Nacey: Oh no! Will contents insurance replace the keyboard?
    I haven’t seen our magpies yet either, only doves.

  13. Lauredhel: No, we don’t have that kind of insurance. I don’t know why. I don’t know what Mum or Dad have for the house, to be honest. And the way the insurance companies are freaking out, I don’t think they’d pay for it anyway.
    The news of your magpies is actually heartening. Maybe they’re such smart animals they went in hiding until this is all over.
    On the upside, Billy Hyde regularly has very good keyboards for very, very cheap. It might take me some months but I can save up. It’s just a giant, huge, no good pain in the ARSE.

  14. Huh, my insurance broker’s been really helpful! (I deal with them, not direct with the insurance company, which adds a nice layer of friendliness and access.) Any urgent repairs we can fix now and claim later; for non-urgent repairs, we need only one quote in this particular situation, because contractors are a bit busy right now.

  15. ETA: Our magpies came home today. All accounted for. I would give dollars and doughnuts to know where those crafty birds hid out.

  16. I would give dollars and doughnuts to know where those crafty birds hid out.
    In New Zealand. Where they’re not welcome at all – they are a major pest. Try as I might, I cannot summon the appropriate response to magpies in Australia. Yes, they have a lovely song, but when I hear it, I want to summon up a shotgun.
    But I’m glad that the lovely birds that belong in your backyard have come back, Nacey. It must be very hard to face the damage each day when you wake up, and hard having a niggling worry about the birds and other animals that are part of your home.

  17. I’m one of these silly people that hates hurting even pests. Like, Rainbow Lorikeets are pests here, but I still like them, I like looking at them. I hate having to deal with mice or rats, cause they’re so damned cute. And I know feral populations of animals like rabbits, foxes and cats need to be dealt with, but the thought of shooting them makes my blood run cold. So yeah – we’re coming from two different worlds. I couldn’t imagine despising any sort of animal to the point of wanting to kill it. But I’m a hippy-dippy tree-hugger type. The only reason I eat meat is because I don’t have to kill it or see it get killed (and it’s vital for my iron absorption problems).
    Those are our magpie friends. Absolutely darling little birds. I’m so glad they’ve come back.
    Back on topic, my little brother got some awesome video of the storm, so he’ll probably be putting them up on Youtube. I got a few seconds of storm, where both Mum and I scream at a sudden bolt of lightning that was very, very frightning me.

  18. Oh, Nacey, I’m with you on mice and rats. If they’d stay out of my food closets and wiring, and poop outside, I’d be more than happy to share space with their cute twitchy little noses.
    I got in trouble for liking starlings over East, too.

  19. We’re in good stead with our rats. They live in the walls in bad weather and run outside and focus of figs, grapes, old cat food and inside Lenny’s belly if they’re not fast enough. He’s 14 and he’s still a rodent killing machine. No scat in the kitchen, and I haven’t seen any mice since Dad built the new kitchen. I have a rule – if I don’t see ‘em, don’t smell ‘em, don’t see ‘em or any trace of them, then I don’t care if they’re there or not. Mum’s so stringent with her kitchen hygiene I don’t think they really get a chance to munch on much. Plus – cats. Indoor cats, outdoor cats – cats up the wazoo. Cats are the best rodent repellent EVER.
    Starlings do make amazing flight formations which are pretty cool to witness. I guess even pests can be shiny.

  20. ” Mum’s so stringent with her kitchen hygiene I don’t think they really get a chance to munch on much. ”
    Hah. Spoken like someone who’s never had rodents chew through the carton of UHT milk on the top shelf of the pantry.

    • Spoken like someone who’s never had rodents chew through the carton of UHT milk on the top shelf of the pantry.

      We had rodents chew through the back of the kitchen cupboard behind the dishwasher and then chew through the electrical cord for the dishwasher. We ended up recycling a computer CPU box side panel to keep them out of that cupboard.

  21. Nacey: Your fear for your birds wasn’t misplaced, as it turns out:

    Carnaby’s cockatoos killed in WA storm
    More than 30 endangered Carnaby’s cockatoos died during a severe storm that struck Perth this week and many more were injured, authorities say.
    Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) officers and veterinary staff from Perth Zoo are working to save 10 of the black cockatoos that were injured in Monday’s storm, which dumped heavy hail and destructive rain.
    Perth Zoo received 23 birds with soft tissue and skeletal injuries.

  22. Oh hell! I have been hearing so many of them in the past two days I was hoping they had survived okay! God durn it! I count them every time I see them and take photos of them, I just love them. It’s always a really nice treat to have them on our Norfolk Island Pine when its in fruit.
    Oh man, that’s tragic.

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