In the hours since my last post, the city of Newcastle and all the towns in the region have been devastated by extreme weather caused by a violent low pressure cell. This produced winds up to 106kph and unbelievable torrential rain. An hour after I went to see the stranded ship at Nobby’s my own car was flooded and the city centre was submerged. It happened real quick and there was madness as people tried to get out. I live about 20km south of the city and it took an hour to get home. Everywhere I went there was devastation and blockages. Fortunately, my house and suburb were safe but we were like an island in a sea of floodwater.
That night the wind went to a new level and we tried to sleep it out but we were worried about losing the roof or the windows. We had no power and it took two days to get it back. At this time, 100,000 houses in the region are still without power and the floodwaters in the Hunter Valley are still rising. My friend Scott Simpson at Singleton is in real danger of inundation and that town is now isolated.
Australia is used to extremes. We have just spent years in the worst drought on record only to cop this. It’s normal but this time it’s shocking in it’s ferocity. So, you sea dogs out there, spare a thought for the people of one of the great surfing and watersport destinations in the world.