March 28, 2006

Like most uninvited and unwelcome visitors, Cyclone Larry left us a big mess to clean up.

The kitchen skylight developed a persistant leak and the TV antenna was totalled. Both have been replaced as insurance claims.

We've been working our butts off, trying to get the yard back to a semblance of order. It's looking pretty good...just so long as you stop before you enter the treed area at the back of the garden - from then on in it's pretty chaotic.

We lost approximately 12 tree in the blow and have removed a couple of others since, that didn't look too safe. There's a lot of really big palm fronds to come down yet, but they are out of reach. It's going to be a case of keeping a careful eye out, when we venture close to them. If it hadn't been for our neighbours, we would never have cleared the yard on our own. Mick came over the day after the storm and started helping me clean up. The next afternoon he came with his two teenaged sons and they got stuck in with the chain saw. The pile of vegetation on the nature strip, out the front of the house was huge...Rob and I have added a lot more during the week too. Monday, the Council clean-up team took it all away. It nearly filled the back of a 10tonne truck.

The Insurance company gave us the go-ahead to get a fig tree removed from the back yard. It totally uprooted and fell on the dividing fence, so they will, thankfully pay for it. The quote was for $1650...and that doesn't include the root boll, which is too heavy for the tree loppers to move. At a later date, we will have to find a backhoe or somesuch, big enough to handle it. (again an insurance job)

I can't believe how lucky we are. When I see the devastation of other coastal towns and the towns on the Atherton Tablelands atop the mountains, it's hard to believe that we got off so lightly. The winds were Catagory 4 here in Gordonvale but they were Cat.5 at the centre. I'm not sorry we didn't get to experience them. It's going to take years to rebuild those areas and many, many years for some of the farmers to have a crop again. Sugar Cane and Bananas will be back within 18 months, but Avocado, Mango, Macadamia Nuts and other tropical fruits can take 7 yrs before the trees are mature enough to fruit. Milk quality will drop too, until pastures return to their previous condition. It looks like a pretty lean time for a lot of people - so many are jobless because the agricultural side has sustained such heavy damage. It's a time for taking stock and realising that we can help, even if it is only by going through our wardrobes and donating things we don't wear.

Many of our State Emergency Service personel and our Council workers, who are involved in cleaning up the towns that have been worst hit, are at burn out level. My son Karl, is working in Babinda...he has a chain saw licence...he's working from 6am to 6pm every day, including week-ends, and he's worn out. He thinks that it's going to take at least 3-4months before the clean up is finished. It's going to be a continual drain on the physical rescorces of the willing - I just hope that others will step in and give them time to recover.

Today is fine, weatherwise. It's been just over a week since Larry and this looks like it might be the first day that we don't have rain. I'm not taking bets on it, but it looks OK so far, though there are a few dark clouds heading our way.

It's nice to be able to find a few minutes to post. I've been slack, so far this year, with no excuses. Funny isn't I'm busy as all get out, I decide to use my break time to post. I really am just a little odd!

Speak with you soon,


Posted by Midus at March 28, 2006 10:39 AM