Yesterday on my face book I posted a status that said nothing exciting happens here in Perth. Five minutes later all hell broke lose.
Perth doesn't get storms. Hail stones the size of a fingernail is very rare indeed. In fact for the last 4 months we have not had any rain worth mentioning. To hear a weatherman say that there is a severe road weather alert is laughable to say the least. Oh they say it, quite often, but we never get the conditions for which they are saying it. Quite often when thunder is forecast it never happens. You can understand now that when, after many many false calls that no one really believed them when they said a storm front was coming through ... yeah yeah, one suburb may get a little rain and that will be about it.
I normally leave work at 4pm but I stayed back a little because the sky had got so dark that it was like the sun had gone down. About 3 minutes later the rain hit. It was so windy that the rain didn't know which direction to go. Masses of it was swirling in front of us. That was when the hail started. Not the gold ball size hail but definitely to big enough to be see clearly on the ground as individual balls from the 3rd floor. My poor little car was out in all of that. I went down to the foyer to check it all out from street level from big glass walls and two idiots decided to go outside and huddle in the corner for a smoko!!! In the mean time the underground drain couldn't cope with the sudden rush of water and lifted the concrete manhole lid up to relieve some of it's pressure.
My work place is on a hill and the road had turned into a water fall. Leaves from the trees were all over the place (my red car was green). The building has a flat roof and couldn't cope with the heavy rain and hail so water was pouring down the stairwell and leaking out onto level 3 (where I work).
At 4:15 I phoned home and told my mother I would not be coming home just yet and will wait until the storm died down. At 4:25 there seemed to be a lull in the storm and the worst appeared to be over so I phoned home again to say I would be leaving and there was no answer. At 4:27 an email went round asking us to turn off all electrical equipment.
So I left for home. The roads were no longer roads but a graveyard for leaves. The entry way to the freeway was flooded so deep that I thought my little car would float away. Surprisingly though the freeway going south was quite clear and I managed to get to the highway I turn off on within 20 minutes. This is good for a good day!
Another storm was brewing but it was to the left of me as I drove down the freeway. There was however lightning all around me. It wasn't sheet lightning either, this stuff was touching the ground and it was constant. By the time I was on the highway and about to turn off it the sky started to get darker again.
Once off the highway I was only about 2-3km from home but the power was out and there were no street lights or police at a major intersection so driving was slow. Suddenly it was like someone hit a switch sky suddenly went really dark and the car started rocking in the wind. "Here it comes again," I thought. Within seconds the rain bucketed down. Thunder and lightning were continuous. I could not even see the car in front of me it was that bad. I just wanted to get home so I crawled. I put my lights on high beam in the hopes people would see me. A turn off from the main road near my house was barely visible and while trying to see it I ended up on the wrong side of the road (only a small lapse in the storms power allowed me to see the white stripes down the centre). When I found the turn off I ended up with water going over my bonnet.
Once home I was too scared to get out of the car. It was getting thrashed by the rain and wind. I only had a 2m run to the door. Finally I decided to make a run for it and got totally soaked.
Inside we had no power. It seems that my work area and my home area, though vastly apart, were the hardest hit. They are predicting that my home area will be without power for a couple of days (not good when you sleep with a CPap machine). At work this morning the power only came on on my floor at 10am due to safety reasons for the water in the carpet.
Another storm was supposed to have hit this morning but it did what storms usually do and went around us.