14 March 2014

The calm before the storm

It is about 9.30pm on Friday night. I am sitting in my silent house, hearing the beginning of rain and the slight rising breeze, waiting. New Zealand is right in the path of Tropical Cyclone Lusi (which killed three people when it went over the top of Vanuatu), which has already made landfall in Northland. Metservice is predicting between 120-150mm of rain and gale force winds in the inland western Bay of Plenty, which is us here in Rotorua.

There are severe weather warnings in place for much of the country, and lovely Kerikeri and the Bay of Islands are already getting hammered with rain and wind. The wind and rain maps are alarming, and the forecasters are saying things like, "severe gale force", "secure all objects that could become missiles", "restrict all non-essential travel", "be prepared for loss of power, flooding, and slips", "ensure you have supplies on hand for at least three days", "Civil Defence is standing by".

But right now, all is calm. We have done what we can: the trampoline is tied down, plywood panels have been located where they can't fly away, and made sure the shopping was done. There are plenty of candles in the house too. For now, we wait.

It's an odd metaphor: waiting, knowing something is coming, but completely unable to do anything about it. Watching the storm creep closer, and knowing the whole country is going to cop it. There is nowhere to hide. It's coming.

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