Images of a Big Island

T.C.Ului (Part 2)

Well, the Whitsundays scored a direct hit by TC Ului on Saturday night and it was a wild night indeed! Ului crossed the coast at about 1:30am as a Cat 3 system with gusts of about 200km/h.
Power had gone about 11:30 and from then on it was a dark and stormy night literally! As the eye passed over the wind dropped to about 15 knots and light drizzle before it all resumed from the opposite direction but nowhere near the previous intensity. By daylight it was pretty much all over.
As sleep was nearly impossible we decided to hold an impromptu party to celebrate the rare experience of passing through the eye of a cyclone.
As a tree had fallen across our driveway I couldn’t get out and about to inspect things until late afternoon and everyone else had the same idea.
There was surprisingly little structural damage to buildings but the trees in some places looked like they had been torn apart by something extremely violent.

Hearing some of the gusts the previous night I was not surprised but I was still shaking my head just looking at it.
On the marine side of things there was carnage at Shute Hbr which is open to the south with many vessels dragging their moorings into the mangroves or onto the beach.

As a lot of the vessels went ashore at the peak of the tide and storm surge, it will be problematical to refloat the larger ones and large cranes will need to be utilised.
Once the eye passed over and the wind switched direction any boats left in the bay were exposed to open sea and about half a dozen ended up on the bricks. As most of the shoreline around Airlie Beach is now sea wall these boats did not fare so well.

What you can’t see in this photo is that there is a smaller boat crushed between the large yacht and the rocks!
Power was out for about 40 hrs and is still out in some areas but things are slowly returning to some sort of normalcy. It is interesting how your life changes when you don’t have some of the things that you take for granted, like light,TV, internet and how quiet it gets! Similar to camping really.
The local council, SES and energy companies have worked their rings off to restore normal services as quickly as possible and deserve the fullest praise for their efforts!
I for one am glad it wasn’t a Cat 5!


5 responses

  1. truenorthmark

    Great story Tim,

    We got pretty well hammered here last night as well, but I was busy getting my stranded daughter from the city!

    Looks like mother nature is dishing out everywhere around Aus at the minute eh, with floods in QLD and NSW and droughts in other places etc etc!

    March 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm

  2. Yeah, I saw Perth got nailed! A land of extremes for sure.
    Adrian Waytes pic of the stormfront is a beauty.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:54 pm

  3. Hi Tim.

    We drove thru there last Wed on the way to Bris. from Pt Douglas. I took a couple of shots of the Annaconda up on the rocks. I climbed aboard to have a look and thought it must have been there for a while as it is virtually stripped inside and covered in diesal inside , looks like a real derelict boat. i’ll get around to putting them up when i sort thru the thousands of shots from the trip.

    You live in a nice part of the world.



    April 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm

  4. G’day Merv,
    Yes it’s a shame to see Anaconda there as she is an old ocean-racing legend with a lot of miles under her keel. But if you leave your boat on anchor with a cyclone bearing down, well……..!
    look forward to seeing some of your images!


    April 19, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    • Yeah , thought the name was familiar , probably heard it linked to Syd – Hobart years ago.

      April 19, 2010 at 11:32 pm

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