Yesterday, we experienced our first real rain in months. As fate would have it, yesterday's rain turned out to be part of the worst storm Perth has seen in almost 20 years. It snuck up on us, going from dark clouds and lightening to golf-ball-sized hail in a matter of minutes. And then there was the deluge. The noise in the extension was deafening as hail pounded the tin roof. Stephanie snoozed away in a late afternoon nap, while Ellie watched with mounting trepidation as the storm raged. Around our house, the hail heavily battered trees and knocked down lots of small branches and leaves (it was closer to dime-sized here, thankfully; the worst was downtown and the heavily damaged UWA campus). Watching the hail hit the pool was amazing, and it was kinda fun watching it bounce around on the trampoline. Once we knew Markus wasn't being beaten by it on his bicycle, we were able to relax and watch it go.
At the end of the day, it was your average summer thunderstorm in the Southern US, only they aren't used to that kind of weather here.
The mayhem it caused was horrific. Unfortunately, many areas were far worse off than we were. The storm caused a mudslide in King's Park that ran into some luxury apartments. UWA had a lot of devastation. Several houses had collapsed roofs or broken windows or skylights, letting in tons of rain and damaging ceilings. Other homes flooded and many cars were totaled by the hail. In our area, there wasn't too much damage to speak of, but we learned a few things about the house. The skylight still leaks, for one. The indecision about The Mushroom Room was fortuitous; it flooded again, just as before. We lost power in all the outlets in the house; the safety switch tripped repeatedly from water leaking into the electrical system somewhere. The rest of the house lost power a couple of hours later anyway. For bonus, the drain in the laundry room floor backed up and filled the room with smelly yellow water, leaving first that room and then the whole house smelling like a public toilet. As I cleaned up this morning, we discovered the source of our electrical woes when I unplugged the washing machine and water poured out of the outlet. Markus stayed home to help me tame the mayhem, and everything is back to order now. The house looks and smells spanking clean, and the power is fully restored, though not in time to save the contents of the fridge.
I looked up a news story about it online this morning, and I was raw-ther amused to know that over 11,000 people spent their evening last night setting up and joining a facebook group called "I Survived the Great Storm of Perth 22/03/2010." It was a thunderstorm, people. With golf ball sized hail, I grant you, but still.
I have to wonder how large that facebook group will be when the 150,000 people without power get back online.