Sleepless Night

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david.anderson
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Re: Sleepless Night

Postby david.anderson » Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:09 am

Thanks again for your wishes.
Update. Lost power here for a short time but now that has been restored. The smoke haze has reduced due to the wind direction. There are still major power outages south of Nowra to the Victorian border. In some areas mobile phone reception has been restored. I was able to contact a neighbour from Bodalla a short time ago for an update. He had returned home after evacuating but has just been advised that he must leave again as the main fire front is 4km to the SW and there will be no escape. He is leaving for the second time. So I am not sure when the fire will hit as the current prevailing wind is from the NE which is slowing its progress toward my property. I actually hope the fire front passes today as the temperature is only predicted to reach 27C with 15km NE wind and most houses in the Bodalla Park estate have a reasonable clearing around them, so hopefully fire fighters will be able to defend buildings.
On 4/1/20 the prediction is for catastrophic fire conditions 43c and 35km winds from the west so it may be impossible to defend any property. The town of Cobargo was destroyed on a similar day and the area around Cobargo was clear grassland for several hundred metres.
There is currently traffic gridlock approaching Nowra as the Princes Hwy has been opened today northbound to allow holiday makers to return home. Many NSW south coast holiday makers have been trapped by the fires, unable to leave due to road closures. There has also been no available fuel to the far south coast so a couple of tanker loads of fuel have been brought in by the defence force to enable holiday makers to refuel to return home.
Locally my house at Meroo Meadow is currently not under threat as fire fighters have so far been able to extinguish the fire at each point that it has jumped to the north of the Shoalhaven river. The danger for me here will be on sat 4/1/20
On a very sad note I have just found out that a work colleague lost his life trying to defend his home at Conjola. Laurie retired from work just prior to Christmas and was looking forward to his retirement. I have also been told that 2 other work colleagues have lost their homes at Conjola Park and 3 friends have lost homes or holiday homes.
David

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Steven.Carter
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Re: Sleepless Night

Postby Steven.Carter » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:02 am

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss David, The fires are well reported here on the news, but your writing of what your going through certainly brings it home to me what your going through.

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Re: Sleepless Night

Postby Vincent.vanGinneke » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:27 am

I am very sorry to hear of all the losses you have had David, and possibly it is not going to end there.
Easy for me to say from the comfort of our drizzly weather, but all that counts are the lives of you and all others.
Goods can be replaced but humans not, please get yourself and all others out while you can.

david.anderson
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Re: Sleepless Night

Postby david.anderson » Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:52 am

Very eerie here at the moment. I cannot see the sun through the thick clouds of smoke. The fire has jumped the Shoalhaven river and is in Tapatalie and north Nowra to the sw of me. Police bully boys have forcibly removed many residents from Tapatallie who were intent in staying to defend their property. So far however today has not turned out the Armageddon that was predicted. It is currently 43c here but the winds so far have been very light and not the 35km predicted yesterday or the 60-80kmh predicted this morning. The light winds have clearly helped the situation. I have my generator ready to start when the power goes out and I managed to buy a fire fighter pump this morning which is now set up alongside my pool. I have 7 hoses around the house. The ladder is set up to access my roof and I have plugged the roof gutters (partly in any case) and have filled the gutters with water. My main concern is there is a spotted gum forest of about 50 acres which at its closest point is about 100m from my house.
I have hooked my caravan onto the ute and have loaded 2 bikes onto the trailer and hooked my wifes car onto that. I have a lot of tools in the ute to salvage what I can should I have to take off urgently. Unfortunately 7 bikes, a shed full of machinery and a house full of furniture will have to stay, should I have to evacuate. No danger as yet but there is a predicted strong southerly change predicted this evening which may blow the fire toward me. My son in law who lives in North Nowra just advised that he is currently experiencing a lot of burnt leaves falling around him but no burning embers yet
At Bodalla a neighbour has advised that the fire front has mostly passed to the south of the Bodalla Park estate and is headed for the coastal town of Dalmeny. There has been a moderate NW wind there all day so far, however, the predicted southerly change may blow the fire back to Bodalla.
The media have reported that it is 52c in Kangaroo Valley to the west of me here at Meroo Meadow and pyrocumulus clouds are forming over the fire. Those are the clouds that cause dry lightning strikes. A dry lightning strike decimated the town of Cobargo. Cobargo has about 500m of clear grass around the town so felt safe from bushfire.
So I am running on prayers at the moment. I have prepared about all that I can and am waiting on the ember attack to start.
David

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paul.jameson
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Re: Sleepless Night

Postby paul.jameson » Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:36 am

Glad you are still ok so far David. I hope your luck holds. We are all thinking of you - my wife keeps asking whether there is any word from you and has been telling all her friends of your plight. Everyone wishes you well.
Paul Jameson
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david.anderson
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Re: Sleepless Night

Postby david.anderson » Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:39 am

The weather conditions changed last night when a southerly change brought winds of 80kmh. The strong wind lasted for just over an hour. I was showered with burnt debris and ash however there were no glowing embers. I was very fortunate that the prior light NW wind did not spread the fire on the north side of the Shoalhaven river, east of Tapitalee. With the arrival of strong southerly winds, the fire front raced up the hill through Budgong and through just west of the village of Kangaroo Valley. The ash and debris fallout that I experienced was probably from fires still burning on the south side of the Shoalhaven river rather than from where the fire crossed the river. I am not a coffee drinker, however last night I had several strong cups to ensure I did not fall asleep while my wife and I took turns at patrolling outside in the thick acrid smoke to ensure nothing had caught fire.
My immediate neighbour left home last night in a panic and now cannot return as Police have closed Moss Vale Rd. I am not sure when the road will open so I cannot leave as I will also be barred by the bully boys from returning home. I fail to see what joy authorities get from preventing home owners from accessing their property. It appears to me that it is the case of little boys putting on a man’s underpants and thinking they are there to exert their authority.
Unfortunately a friend of my wife’s lost her house at Tapitallee to the fire last night.
On another sad note a local facebook group started patrols of their immediate area to check on neighbours and property that had been vacated. They caught a couple of low life’s looting a vacated fire damaged property. And in another case a low life posed as an RFS fire fighter and door knocked at Milton telling people they must evacuate. He then attempted to rob the properties, but was caught in the act. Others in safe areas have opened their houses to strangers in need of accommodation. Events like this certainly bring out the best in some people and the worst in others.
With regards to my property that I am currently building on in Bodalla it is ok. I know that 12 homes were lost to the west of me in forested areas. The main fire front passed about 1km to the south of me and headed for Dalmeny and Narooma. The southerly wind change then blew the fire back to Bodalla and that is apparently when the homes were lost. My neighbour advised no homes have been lost in our street and the fire is currently nearby but under control provided winds do not increase.
So far, I feel like I have dodged two bullets. I still have power and internet services and have not suffered any property damage. Many areas that have not been impacted directly by fire have no phone, internet or power and no access or food. My only inconvenience is that my house, cars and property is covered with black ash. The covering of the water in my pool by the ash looks strange. So a little cleaning up to do today after a sleep. However I cannot relax. A change in winds and temperature could see the fire turn back towards me. Some areas in the southern Shoalhaven that had previously been attacked by the fire were attacked again yesterday. But for the moment I am not in any immediate danger.
David

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Steven.Carter
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Re: Sleepless Night

Postby Steven.Carter » Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:58 am

Hope you can catch up on some sleep tonight David.

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Re: Sleepless Night

Postby Simon.Gardiner » Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:58 pm

Keeping fingers crossed for you, David

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paul.jameson
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Re: Sleepless Night

Postby paul.jameson » Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:47 pm

Let's hope that your luck holds David. I was following the progress of the fires via the internet and it did seem to me likely that you might get away without disaster yesterday so I am delighted this proved to be the case.
Paul Jameson
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Keith.owen
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Re: Sleepless Night

Postby Keith.owen » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:21 am

David,
Every day we see news of the destruction in Aus.
This thread however brings it closer to home. Keep safe.
Keith
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