Wild weather at Hornsby


Morning of destruction

It's been a pretty crazy day today with the weather. There was a huge thunderstorm scant days ago, and it would seem that today what has been dubbed thus far a mini-tornado (as of around 7pm, it seemed it was no longer a 'mini-tornado', but in fact the 'perfect storm') hit just over Hornsby, which caused quite a bit of destruction, from a roof caving in at Hornsby Westfield, to roofs being ripped off the Hornsby Inn and the Hornsby Library. What a mess that must be, though I don't know the extent of the damage. Trees fell, roofs were ripped off, people were injured, cars were knocked over or crushed, window panes were smashed, and a demountable went flying.

What's scary about this whole affair really though, is that Ruben and his family and I missed it by what must be scant minutes. The mini-tornado was said to hit at 2.30 and at that time, Ruben and I were in Westfield with his family, just taking a look about some stores before we left. The rain had hammered the roof loudly as Ruben and I looked at decorations, but we didn't think anything particularly special of it, other than it sounded ferocious enough to break the glass. I still felt quite safe indoors though. We noted in the parking lot that the lights suddenly flickered off, and we put that down to a blackout though they were soon back again.

Hornsby Westfield decorations

When we reached the outside road, the traffic lights were flashing yellow and we thought there might be a problem when suddenly they flickered back to life again and we drove off into the relative calm, oblivious of anything that might have happened. There was no rain coming down and I even joked about it. Minutes after we went inside though, another wave of heavy rain came hammering down again and that was when the first reports of a tree coming down and of the destruction at and around Hornsby began flooding in from Twitter, and cropping up on news sites when we were there just half an hour ago.

Twisters were also recorded at Port Macquarie. I was afraid to be outside in winds that could be reported to be so strong... Thankfully, Ruben made sure I got home safely. So Abbott still wants to say this isn't the result of Global Warming now? The driest winter on record followed by the wettest November? Interesting. The world is shaking their head at us, surely.

The Sydney Morning Herald seems to still be updating on this destruction at Hornsby, the post was just a few sentences long the first time I saw it! It seems the cleanup work has begun, but there's still a lot to be done. Although I'm grateful that Ruben's family and I were able to miss it, there were others that were much less lucky. Thank you to all the SES crews that have been working tirelessly, not only through the bushfires, but now also through these incidents.

Update

Ruben also blogged about this incident and mentions it is referred to as the 'Hornado'. That reminds me of a certain... tornado incident. That being said, sign me up for a shirt!