Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The storm of 2013


It started on Thursday, the rain set in, the wind came up and the trees across the road were roaring. When we woke up on Friday morning the wind was still strong, the rain heavy and we had no power. We listened to the radio and learned of the damage that was wrecked upon Wellington during that night, the worst storm since the Wahine storm in 1968 with wind gusts over 200km per hour, train lines lifted and undermined by the sea, the south coast sea walls broken and people finding fish and seaweed in their gardens, it seemed so unbelievable. Schools were closed including ours. As daylight came we looked around us, a big tree had fallen over in the middle of my veggie garden, it couldn't have landed more perfectly, smack bang in the middle between two beds, only slightly damaging one side of the compost bins. Our stream was raging and high, close to the top of the bridge. Looking across the road a big Gum tree had fallen across their driveway. No traffic was moving on our road, it was blocked further up by three large gum trees.  During a break in the rain we went for a walk across the rest of the farm surveying the damage. We had a young gum tree down on the electric fence, a big wattle down on another fence line, a large gum tree from behind the chook house had broken the fence and fallen into the gully (thankfully not on the chickens in their house) and three pine trees had fallen over in the forest, nothing on the power lines phew, nothing blocking the road, double phew, and nothing damaged that's not easily fixed, phew again. The rain continued for two days, the power stayed off for two days, more trees gave way elsewhere and the stream got dangerously high.

We were very lucky compared to others. We were warm and cosy inside, the fire was blazing and pots were heating water for endless cups of tea and milo. We still had hot water after 30 hours. It was a bit like camping really. I made scones in the cast iron pot and chicken noodle soup. There was nothing much else to do except knit, read and play card games with the kids. And there is much to be grateful for, grateful that we were as prepared as we were, grateful that we didn't sustain much damage and grateful for the felling of next year's firewood, now it just needs ringing, splitting and stacking, a small price to pay for the comfort it gives us.

Each year it seems some extreme weather event happens, two years ago it was a freak snowfall, now this storm. Our kids are going to start thinking this kind of weather is normal, already they expect snow every winter! These events have made us look at what else we can do to prepare ourselves for power outages and moved a few items up to the top of the To Do list - getting the wetback installed and buying a generator are right up there now.  It's also added a few things to the To Do list too though, now there are trees to clean up and fences to fix.


  1. The weather has been so wild! Your cosy days in sound like bliss to me. Bring of the cold and rainy weather when days like that are to be had xo

  2. Wow the storm looks to have been very severe where you are-we just had flooding of our rd, but no house or damage. Id love to know how you make scones in a crock pot! We only have a fire woodbrner but we love to experiment cooking in it-baked potatoes, toast, roasted nuts, we even have gadgets to cook eggs and waffles! I love that feeling of off-grid self-sufficiency!

    1. Eggs and waffles - I might need to investigate those gadgets! For the scones, I cooked them on top of the woodburner. I just made my normal scone dough then cooked one lot in my le cruset pot (any cast iron pot would do) with the lid on and the other in a cast iron frypan with a makeshift pot lid. They came out better than my oven baked ones.