Monday, 26 February 2007

Thunder, Lightning & a Fire Alarm

The day dawned with a fantastic electrical display in the sky. I am amazed I managed to get to work in one piece as I kept scanning the sky for a fleeting look at the lightning as it reached across the clouds and down to the ground.

I had only been at work for an hour when the thunder started. It was continuous, never stopping for a break. The view from my window is of a large hotel so I only caught a hint of the fact that the light display was still on. I thought it would be great to be somewhere high up right now, with my camera, capturing it all.

And so it was in mid thought that a particularly loud clash of thunder boomed overhead. In answer to it's call our fire alarm rang out.

My colleagues and I looked at each other and then looked outside. Our evacuation area was 500m out in the open by the Esplanade. Though it had not rained yet we knew there was a lot of potential. So we waited. After a couple of minutes the alarm was still going and there was no announcement that it was false.

A fire warden came to our door and directed us to the nearest exit. Only one of us out of the entire building had an umbrella.

Instead of heading down the hill to the esplanade we stood under the shelter of the drop of zone one of large hotels. A police car sirened its alarm and came to a hand break stop in the middle of the intersection. A fire engine followed and attempted to do a u-turn back to our office building. All around us the lightning flashed.

Eventually we decided we should head towards the usual assembly area as they may be worried about where we were. Down there we had a clear view of the Swan River and how the storm was circling us.

Within 30 minutes of evacuating we were told it was a false alarm and headed back towards the main body of people only to be told we could not go back into the building yet. An hour later the heavens opened upon us as buckets of water fell heavily on the city. Even undercover there was little shelter from the almost horizontal rain.

When the okay was given we through all protocol out the window and dashed across the street where ever we could. By the time I got back to the office I was wet through (yes thin white shirt). The air conditioner was cool and I soon got quite cold.

By afternoon the sun came out bright and hot. Humidity was here to do it's dirty work. The air conditioner chose this time to die and for 4 hours we all sweltered.

I relished hopping into my air conditioned car and driving home.


ruth said...

Well you certainly got your day's excitement!

Anonymous said...

I posted your package yesterday, it should be there in about 10 days time. I hope you like it. FCS Pal