It has been a very odd couple of days. Wellington really lived up to its windy reputation in spectacular fashion. Thursday afternoon when picking the kids up from school I thought it was windy when I had difficulty shutting the car door, but it was nothing compared to what was coming later.
Once we got home about five o'clock we noticed the wind picking up and the lights began to flicker. So I dug out our emergency kit and found all the torches, candles and matches. It was a good job I did as about half eight the lights went out and I found myself sitting in the lounge in pitch black whilst bits of twigs and leaves were thrown against the windows. It was a surreal and slightly scary experience.
I should point out that we live in the middle of a reserve surround by native forest. So there are a lot of trees around the house and a lot of things that could potentially fall on the house. I was also alone with my two girls as my other half was on the other side of the region at an evening meeting.
So when the lights went out I went and got my girls and we all retreated to my room climbing into bed to keep warm with the dog as well!
The noise was astounding, and looking at the debris in the garden I now understand why. There must have been twigs and branches whipping around in every direction. My other half arrived home at eleven having had to find a route home avoiding fallen trees and flooded roads. He had to walk the last bit as several trees were down in our road.
We thankfully got electricity back the following morning and our house came through it undamaged. We have lost quite a few trees in the back garden and have had to call the council about one particular tree that is now leaning rather dramatically towards the house.
The local council have been amazing at clearing roads and helping people. They were out in our road at about 1.30am clearing falling trees.
I also think one of the greatest things about these extreme events is the way people pull together. Our lovely nieghbours popped round on the night of the storm just to check we were okay and came round the next day as well. Our nieghbour opposite has been clearing the road with her machete in hand and collecting wood for her fire.
It was not until the sun rose the next day that I realised how lucky we had been. Venturing into the back garden there were two very large branches (the size of small trees!) that had fallen very close to our house, how they didnt land on the roof is a miracle. So although the garden is a mess, compared to the poor people who have lost roofs or been flooded out, we are very lucky!