Over the past two weeks, torrential rain has walloped our state. There have been a few days where the precipitation reached over 1 centimetre. This comes on the heels of the four-month lockdown last year. Who could forget that pause? I’ve detailed that cessation in prior posts. The fallout from the lockdown saw businesses crumble, freedom reimagined, and forced people to stay at home. Kids learned at home and employees worked from home. Before this, bushfires savaged country New South Wales, leaving a trail of mangled attractions. Workers had only just started returning to offices when the downpours became merciless. We had merely started welcoming back international travellers.
The news did a good job reporting the tsunami; maybe even too good a job. The primetime bulletin was sure to highlight the devastation. (The dams are full!) They showed denizens wading in waist-high water. The cars were stranded. Dinghies were mobilised to transport peeps from Point A to Point B. This was Waterworld, Australia-style. The affected were interviewed (We’ve lost everything.) I remember hearing that all residents of North Richmond, NSW were to be evacuated. Obviously, they had the worst of it, statewide. Given the state of our roads, people were urged to stay at home and only go out when absolutely necessary. It was Groundhog Day.
Closed for business
This past fortnight, I remember braving the rain. On a couple of occasions, the deluge was so bad that I had to wait for it to subside. Once, I saw a guy walking; he seemed foolish in trying to beat Mother Nature. Earlier in the week, I visited this library to return an item. I had intended to browse the shelves for more inspiration. When I drew closer, I was surprised to find the gate closed. Apparently, they weren’t open owing to the weather conditions. Better luck next time. There’s a first time for everything.
Even though the homeowners had insurance, this could not return their prized memories. After using and accumulating them for years, no price tag would compensate. Like the bushfire hotspots, they must start anew. A nefarious low caused the damage, bringing horrendous weather to the state. Speaking of memories, the star attraction in the nature reserve took a week off. The big crocodile was forced into retreat as the water level rose.
Tips for rainy days
What to do when faced with Waterworld? Common sense would necessitate a stopping of all outdoor activities. As they say, ‘it’s better to be safe than sorry.’ However, this is not pragmatic. Our humanity entails us to subsist: to make trips to the supermarket, to our workplaces, and to health practitioners. That’s why bringing a brolly is always a good idea. Check the forecast. How much is the precipitation? Is it possible showers? Rain? Thunderstorms? When exactly is it predicted to happen? I’ve seen a few careless peeps. They left their bags (and brolllies) at home. They must’ve left their wits too.
Once you’ve packed our brolly, make sure that you bring a plastic bag to deposit it just in case. Not all shops supply plastic bags so bringing one is a good idea. While you’re at it, carrying a cap or hat is likewise logical. The rain will not be steady forever, so a hat is useful when it’s only drizzling or showers. I believe a medium brolly would suffice. You don’t want to bring a big bulky one. Regardless, be mindful of your umbrella as it’s one of the easiest things to forget. Furthermore, stay in the shade as much as possible. You don’t want to be mistaken for a human fountain. Most importantly, DO NOT fight with the rain. The downpours will eventually subside and waiting for the decline is pragmatic.
Meanwhile, try to bring leather shoes in this weather. Synthetic, textile, or suede kicks will not cut it. Leather sneakers are best in the rain as they are water-resistant. You’ll feel this not only while braving the showers but also while manoeuvring the ground. If you can, avoid wearing light clothes – especially pants. The water will be more visible if you do so. Instead, opt for darker clothing. Despite the rainy weather, now isn’t yet the time to don a raincoat or parka (although I’ve seen others do this). The temperature is not twenty degrees and fall has only begun. So dress appropriately.
The past fortnight was the worst time to go to the beach. Hold on to your surfboard for another day. Keep the sunscreen at home. No rational Sydneysider would swim in these conditions. You could be entertained in other ways. The low has since shifted to Queensland, fomenting much destruction there as well. Today, Sydney’s precipitation was down to 30 mm. The worst has seemed to pass. Some parts of NSW had been in drought for months, maybe years. While having an even rainfall would be more appreciated, I’m sure they couldn’t complain. This rainfall has been described as once in a decade, or once in a century. Bushfires, deluges, and droughts…these all point to climate change. The unrelenting downpours reveal that we must be better stewards of creation.