Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sydney "Spared"

Come dawn and the storm was, well, it was over. I've lost count of how many morning news bulletins and on-the-spot reporters told us we had been "spared" the worst of the "storm's fury".

The rain was hard, the winds were strong, a few trees came down, there were car accidents, some roofs lifted off, but we weren't 'Katrina'd'. Did God really intervene and "spare" us, or was it more of a case of the media over-hyping some reasonably serious weather warnings?

Channel 7 seemed to have a reporter stationed in just about every suburb, and when the live crosses began at 5am, some reporters had trouble hiding their disappoint that they weren't standing waist deep in floodwaters dotted with old people on makeshift rafts cuddling their pets. The Sunrise breakfast show team was left shocked. Shocked by the non-event.

So where were the celebrations? The weather forecasters and the media had been mostly wrong. Storm damage was minimal. Nobody died, thousands didn't lose their homes or possessions. Wasn't this good news?

A large storm has passed off the coast south of Sydney, leaving the city largely unscathed after earlier grim warnings from forecasters that "cyclonic winds" would batter homes overnight.

Winds of up to 125km/h had been predicted by the Bureau of Meteorology but the worst of the weather stayed far enough off the coast to leave most affected areas able to cope. Winds of up to 90km/h were reported.

Couple of road closures, a few leaky roofs, but Sydney survived. Hundreds of thousands of people woke to discover that buses and trains were mostly running on time and that their planned day off at home, tucked up under blankets in front of a few DVDs, had been cancelled due to good weather :
Sydney has escaped a battering from predicted hurricane force winds as a huge storm in the Tasman Sea eased and started edging away from the NSW coast, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) says.

Senior forecaster Peter Zmijewski says winds up to 55kmh from southern Sydney to the south coast are expected to lessen.

The storm's threat would likely have passed by midday.
Maybe next time...