First of all, thank you ALL SO MUCH for the comments/prayers/hugs/concerns about my husband and family being in the path of Cyclone Yasi. It helped a lot! Especially the comments from others who have actually BEEN in hurricanes and came out a-ok.
I haven’t blogged in three days. It seems like forever! Tuesday (Cyclone Yasi day) all my Internet tabs were flooded with the Australian meteorology website, a live UStream of an apartment located in CBD (the center of the city) Townsville that was being broadcast as the cyclone hit (until the power went out), and other sites about the cyclone. Also on hand was the hubs on webcam, who assured me over and over that he wasn’t dead and all was right with the world. I stayed up with him until 3am my time (9pm his time-the cyclone was scheduled to hit his area after midnight), and even then I was still so worried I had to take a Xanax to get to bed.
I woke up on my own at 8am (2am his time-the cyclone was pretty much in his neck of the woods) and tried to call him on his mobile-and it went straight to voice mail. I hopped on the computer and saw that 150,000 homes were without power, and I assumed his house was one of them. This is the map of Yasi at approx. 9am my time (3am):
He lives in Charters Towers, FYI.
I hopped on my Facebook and wrote, “Stressing. J and the whole area have lost power so now I have to wait for the cyclone to pass and pray he's okay...”. A few hours later J’s sister (who lives in New Zealand) replied, “Hed it's all good mate, they still have power and they are all fine. J is sleeping and has already eaten half the food for the next couple of days lol. Couple of trees down, but they'll be fine. No need to stress. Home phone is up and running. xo”.
I called the house phone a little bit later and J was still asleep (during a cyclone! I wish I could sleep that peacefully), but I spoke to mum and she said that even Big J (J’s dad) slept through it. Crazy men. She said a couple of trees were down in the yard, but other than that, everything was fine. Thank Jeebus! She then told me that her real estate agent called from up in Kennedy (which is located on the map directly above Cardwell RIGHT in the red zone). Mum and dad have a house there that they are fixing up to sell or rent. A tree fell on it. Doh! (No one lives there though thankfully)
On Wednesday they did some clean-up in the yard and went into town to survey the damage, which was minimal. As of this blog post, there has been one fatality recorded due to the cyclone. One. And that was due to carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator. I’m glad that the Australian government and its people were on board to keep everyone safe!
On that note, I read somewhere that a big difference between Australians and Americans is the way we have been brought up to take care of one another. Americans back in the day ventured out alone or with their family to achieve their version of the “American Dream”, while Australians had to band together due to the unforgiving land they were in to make settlements and survive. Australians have a huge sense of “Mateship”, and I really think that was a defining reason why there wasn’t as many fatalities as there could have been.
One thing I did say on Tuesday is that I was angry with the American news and how they didn’t really care to broadcast something as big and foreboding as a Category 5 cyclone on the news. Some of you disagreed and some of you said my blog post was the first you had heard of Yasi. I don’t want to sound condescending, but until you have left America and gone overseas you really don’t understand the scope of how insular we are as a country. Our “world news” is usually “something global that affects America directly or indirectly”, and it’s sad. It’s just the way most Americans are brought up, I guess-and even I am one of those people that, up until six months ago, thought Germany was next to England (yeah…my bad). I’ll end my rant with a picture that ran on CNN news to prove my point.
Don’t see it? Grab a geography book! :)
So once again, thanks to everyone for e-standing by me and making sure I don’t FLIP OUT, as I have a tendency to do (see this post title for confirmation of that, lol!)