The wind had been lively at a steady 45km/h for most of the day as we waited for the arrival of Cyclone Ului. All preparations had been carried out during the day. Verandah cleared, windows taped and all the other necessary deeds done to prepare us for the event. At 9-pm the wind increased dramatically from the South and soon were well above 100km/h. Loss of power instigated firing up the generator. The noise began to grow in intensity and winds began to gust appreciably more while Liz was becoming unnerved at the ferocity of the storm. We decided to retire to the ground floor, where the protection of concrete walls and ceilings dulled the noise somewhat. An Iron Bark crashed down on the roof of the ensuite and metal roofparts started appearing in the back garden.
We were aware of these events courtesy of a powerful searchlight and the bravado of sticking our necks out from time to time. The winds continued relentlessly for 3 1/2 hours until at 12-35am a final horrific gust of around 200km/h brought the first stanza to a close. Suddenly an eerie silence ushered in the Eye of the storm.
Out on the verandah in the darkness we could see several torchlights piercing the night sky. Further investigation revealed several neighbours wandering the street checking the fallen trees and whatever else one does on these occasions. After a period of complete silence which lasted 45 mins or so, the wind began to wail in the opposite direction.This time from the North. We farewelled the neighbours and retreated back inside to see out the second half performance.
The thunderous roar of the wind continued in earnest as we prepared for another nerve wrenching session of torment. I had gone upstairs several times during the storm to inspect in case of roof damage. Luck held until around 2-00am, as on this occasion I discovered the kitchen ceiling was letting in water through a light fitting.
Bucket strategically placed I returned downstairs away from the horrendous noises being amplified by the metal garage doors that managed, somehow, to vibrate their locks open during the night.