106 and 135- that's not my blood pressure- those were the wind speeds (sustained and gusts) we had early Thursday morning as Yasi came to shore about 180 km north of here. Wind speeds in the areas hardest hit were thought to be near 290km/hr. The destruction was widespread and there has, to this point, been the loss of one life- a young bloke who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning when he ran a generator in an enclosed room as he sheltered from the storm.
Dee and I returned home from our son's place where we sat out the storm around mid-afternoon on Thursday. I had returned earlier to scope the damage and see if we could safely come back. The house had no structural damage although it looked like we had been in the firing line of the discharge chute of a giant leaf shredder.
All walls which face to the east were plastered with bits of shredded leaves and bark. The TV antenna seems to have taken a glancing blow from a falling trunk of a scheffelara.
There were many branches down, about 80% of our bananas have been flattened and our lemon myrtle and kaffir lime trees were showing the signs of a bad bout of weather. The lemon myrtle would normally be in this frame just in front of the bananas.
The myrtle has been resigned to the pile of green waste mounting on the footpath due to the fact that the trunk was shattered about a foot off the ground. The kaffir may be salvageable- I have pruned it severely, stood it more or less upright and now await its regeneration.
Our large melaleuca (paperbark) dropped a couple of very large branches and was stripped of a lot of its soft, spongy bark. Those branches landed on our fence and amazingly I have only found 1 damaged paling- although the gate seems to be a bit off true now and may require some attention.
The poinciana probably dropped the most branches and is now destined for removal.
The scheffelara (umbrella tree) is also heading for removal after losing one of its several trunks. Given the amount of tree damage in and around Townsville, there may be quite a waiting list for good quality tree loppers.
We're now on Day 4 without electricity. There has been extensive damage to the transmission network and the distribution infrastructure up and down the coast. Crews have been brought in from all around the state to assist in the restoration process. Our neighbours across the back are fed from a different zone substation than us and had their power restored this morning. We have run three long extension leads to their house to give us enough power to run a small fridge and a couple of laptops. Maybe tomorrow....
When will the roads be safe enough for a ride???? Good question......
Cheers- ride safely