Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Facing Nature's Monster

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Facing Nature's Monster

Article excerpt

CYCLONE Uriah had increased in intensity. With winds gusting up to 290kmh it had been upgraded to a category five cyclone, one of the most powerful cyclones to have hit Queensland since records commenced.

It had moved faster than expected and made landfall near Wooloo around midnight. It was a large, strong system with damaging winds and heavy rain.

It was like the sound of a train running straight through the middle of her bedroom.

At least that's what Joanne thought it was that woke her. In fact it was the roar of the wind and the rain hammering against the windows that shook her from her short slumber.

The light from a torch danced across her room casting eerie shadows on the walls and ceiling.

A shiver ran down her spine.

Above the din, Joanne heard her name. A silhouette appeared in the doorway.

It was her mother. The frightened look etched on her face was urging Joanne to move. The house shook as if a large hand was rocking it from side to side.

As she shuffled from her bed she heard shattering glass as a window somewhere in the house exploded inwards. Joanne was now alert to the fact that the unwanted guest had arrived.

Josh huddled under a mattress in the bathroom with his family, listening to the howling wind as it ripped at their house like a child's frenzied attack on the wrapping paper around a present.

The wailing of the wind reminded Josh of a wounded monster in a horror movie. It was amplified by the noise of things crashing on the roof. The window in the bathroom was breathing in and out and looked like it might shatter like so many other windows already had.

Sitting in the darkness, Josh imagined that this is what it would feel like being inside a washing machine. The rain was pelting down and it was hard to hear one another talk. Then bang! The wind ripped the roof off like a can opener peeling the lid off a tin. …

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