Thursday night, I was going out to the tent sometime after 10pm – about to settle in for the night. I noticed that the sky was lit up on the horizon every few seconds by lightning. It was obviously a massive storm way out past the valley in the west – maybe out Doon Doon way. I called Danya out to have a look and we noticed that it was getting closer (apparently slowly).
By 11:30 or so, it was completely on top of us, rushing all the way down the valley. There was very little rain for such a massive storm – just flurries – but the lightning display was fearsome. Mind you, the day had been so bloody hot that Danya and I had taken off up to Wanganui and paddled around Coopers Creek for half the afternoon. This was purely an electrical storm, full Ed Kuepper style, not a rainstorm.
Every so often the tent would shudder with an enormous burst of wind, but mainly the wind in the tops of the surrounding forest sounded like an ocean. The power went off at this time, and we didn’t get it back for about 22 hours. Country Energy‘s help line stated that power was off from Bangalow to Byron Bay and Mullumbimby and the surrounding valleys out in the hills.
Summer storm 01/01/09 Originally uploaded by Danya R
By the time I went to Mullum in the late morning, power had been restored there, but the Wilson’s Creek Road was covered in debris and had apparently been blocked by branches in at least on spot.