On Monday 22 March, a freak storm hit Perth, causing heaving rain, strong winds, flooding in some areas and hailstone "the size of golf balls". The day had started out with a cool morning, which developed into a warm day. When I drove home from TAFE in the afternoon, the weather was still fine and the cloudy sky was coloured with warm tones. There was only a bit of light rain at the time.
Sky before the storm. (Source: Perth Now)
Back at home, things started to get darker, there were flashes of lightning and the rumbling of thunder. Keatsy was sitting very still on my shoulder with it's head pointed towards the window, instead of the usual fidgeting around and destroying of my things. I think it was afraid of the thunder and lighting.
It started to rain heavily, and that combined with strong winds meant that water was blowing into the house through open windows. After closing doors and windows and checking on the rabbit in the garden (it was hiding in the patio under the table), I returned to my room to work on my computer. But shortly after, the power went out. I didn't really know what to do, so I sat down to read a book, waiting for my mum or brother to come home and fix the electricity.
An hour or so later, the rain stopped, so I went outside to try to fix the electricity myself. I had never done it before, so I wasn't sure which switch to flip. Finally figuring out which switch to flip, the moment I stepped back into the house, the phone rang. It was my brother asking to be picked up from the train station. I knew it would take my brother a few minutes to get to Greenwood station, so I waited before leaving the house, and during that time, the storm started to pick up again.
Shortly after my brother called, my sister called asking if I was able to contact my mum because she was unable to do so on her phone. Using my mobile phone, I also was unable to call my mum. She was supposed to pick up my sister after school. I offered to pick up my sister from Greenwood at the same time as my brother, but she decided to wait for mum.
When I left the house, it was raining and getting heavier by the second. I was driving down Hepburn Avenue I almost plowed through the intersection at Kingsway Shopping Centre (near the Woolies Petrol Station) without noticing that the traffic lights weren't working. Luckily there were no cars waiting to cross. So I carefully approached the Wanneroo Road and Hepburn Avenue intersection, and yes, the traffic lights there were not working either.
The Wanneroo Road and Hepburn Avenue intersection is quite a busy intersection, and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to cross due to the peak hour traffic heading up Wanneroo Road. Since the general rule in such situations is to give way to cars on the right, I wouldn't have been able to go anywhere since it's a major road, there would always be a string of cars on my right. But somehow, despite no traffic lights and no police officer controlling the traffic, group common sense and courtesy prevailed and drivers were careful and considerate, allowing cars to cross safely.
Thankfully the next two traffic light were working and I reached Greenwood station. My brother hadn't arrived yet because trains were delayed due to the bad weather. There seemed to be power issues at the train station, as the lights were not working in some places, the ticket machines had no power and the schedule board was not displaying the times the trains were due to arrive.
My brother arrived at Greenwood, and by the time we left the station car park, it was raining heavily again. Driving back down Hepburn Avenue, it was a little difficult to see (plus my eyesight seems to suck more at night), and I didn't see some fallen trees on the side of the road and ended up scraping against them. I don't think the car was damaged, but it did push the left side mirror in a bit. The lights at the Wanneroo Road intersection were still not working (and they were still not working the next morning either), but again, we managed to get through with the cooperation of other drivers on the road.
Back at home, my brother called my other sister who had ridden her bike to the train station in the morning. She was with my mum in Wembley/Glendalough where there was hail which caused damage to cars that were left out in the open, and several windows were damaged. My sister was asking if we could drive out to the train station to pick up her bicycle, as she was afraid that it would be stolen. But I didn't really want to drive out again in the stormy weather and traffic lights not working. Plus, who would steal a bike at a time like this? My mum eventually returned home with my sisters and later drove out to pick up my sister's bike.
I don't think our house was damaged in anyway, despite a bit of flooding in the patio and a little bit of hail. At work yesterday, boss told me that the back office had flooded, resulting in damage to the floorboards. The computers got wet, but hopefully they are still functional after letting them dry off. After a long, hot and dry summer, this was an 'interesting' change.