We heard it first on the news.
A storm was coming for Perth. One of epic proportions.
Batten down the hatches – we were in for a rough ride.
Word spread from TV and radio, from person to person – it was a storm – no, it was a tornado! Category 2, whatever that means, or worse – is there worse than a Category 2? I don’t know!
Facebook lit up with concerns about power outages and house damage.
“I have to park my car underneath a huge tree,” one friend explained. “I can’t do anything to stop it getting crushed!”
There was talk of flooding.
There was talk of snow.
Surely we weren’t in for a blizzard? I mean, I know it’s winter, but this is Perth! Right?
People hurried home from work.
We could hardly believe it – the traffic at 4pm was like rush hour. Businesses and shops closed early, sending staff home as soon as they could to avoid them being caught on the road when The Storm hit.
By nightfall the roads were empty. It was eerie, as we drove home from the gym, speeding unopposed down streets we normally had to queue down.
The cafes and restaurants of the popular Vic Park district were all empty; occasionally a terrified pedestrian darted across the street, desperately seeking shelter, cursing the cruel fate that had left them stranded outside in the face of the advancing storm.
At just after 8pm, Western Standard Time, it hit.
The noise of the wind was intense – well, probably. We didn’t hear it as we were inside eating schnitzels.
The storm surged around the house, making us occasionally remember it was there. Plans were abandoned: “We’ll have to put the bins out tomorrow,” I said gravely.
“We’ll have to close the bedroom window!” my wife informed me.
But we didn’t. We’re just that fearless.
Outside, the storm raged unabated.
Perth resisted with all it’s strength – but how could it possibly survive the night?
For minutes at a time we were battered by the rain, sheeting from the sky with enough force to make you really, really wet.
Then there would be a brief lull – then rain would pour down once again, flooding into our drains like… well, like it’s supposed to do.
The aftermath was one of subtle devastation.
Branches were down.
Leaves were down.
Hell, leaves were everywhere. It looked like Perth had been caught in the grip of a… big storm. Well, big-ish.
Across the region, fences were slightly damaged.
A garden gnome was seen to be unmoved in the hilltop vicinity of Roleystone, having narrowly survived the same terrifying ordeal that his friends had also narrowly survived.
Slowly, life returned to normal. People came out of hiding, glancing fearfully at the sky and counting the signs of destruction all around them.
Some of them needed more than one finger.
But long after the boards had been removed from our windows, long after the children had been rescued from beneath tables and under beds, long after 10am, when the sun had dried all remaining traces of the deadly rainstorm – Perth was still there.
Thankfully no-one lost their lives to the deadly downpour, though it is believed that a few weather forecasters lost their jobs.
Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, and with the idiots themselves.
United in their defiance of the storm, Perth residents have vowed: ‘We shall rebuild!’
Unfortunately, nothing was destroyed, but the sentiment remains important. Never again will this brave city feel as threatened by Mother Nature.
Never before, in the field of human-weather activity, has so little been done to so many by such a vast load of bullshit.
So now, wear this badge with pride: