Reflections on Cyclone Yasi

This has been an interesting experience ... I've lost some weight over the past 5 days - fear seems to boost my metabolic rate ... Located at 19.19 south 146.68 east, about 200km south of where the eye crossed the coast. Not game to use the anemometer, but even at this distance, wind pressure at height was well over 160km/hr, probably nearer 200, judging by the deflection of window glass on the upwind side. No damage to house, or any of the half-dozen houses I have worked on in the area. Predictions of storm surge varied between 0.8 and 2.9m but did not exceed 0.5m. Just as well. We stayed put, and at 2.9m, we could have had waves bursting up through the floor. Worst problem is a large Acacia that has split in three directions, one piece resting precariously on the edge of the roof at about 3.5m above ground level. I'll need Emergency Services help with that one I reckon.
Pair of Stone Curlews with two chicks were resident in the side yard at the time, and they have all survived. Good defence response - the parents flatten themselves out on the ground with the chicks underneath.
Doomsayers have been busy of course, but this event is not unprecedented.
Will be good for business - "It is an ill wind that blows nobody any good."
Regards
Martin Clark
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Yowza! Glad to hear you weathered the storm alright, Martin. With winds like those, and you say they're not unprecedented, are storm shutters standard? How close are you to the water?
R
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wrote:

Moot question - no they aren't. Window glass here is mandated to resist a pressure of 61m/s = +/- 220km/hr, but flying debris of any density would break it. One of my sons is planning to make up some frames to drop down from brackets originally intended as fixings for a verandah roof, with arcmesh or hardwood planks covering the top surface.

200m to the Coral Sea. Ok - there's a bunch of McMansions in front of us to take the impact for a while, but there is also a swale behind us which normally discharges to the ocean over a berm, but now has tarpon swimming in it. The bank of the swale is 200mm higher on our side (north) so the surge would probably go inland and leave us on an island. Er - not sure about that "probably" :-)

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wrote:

Yep - nice neat job.
We'll probably hinge ours top-down, so they can be propped as sun-screens or small verandahs. Collectively we have either heavy steel brackets & framing or hardwood framing, so anchor points are adequate.
Interestingly, we had silvered plastic tarps over two caravans and a trailer, which were also tied down with cable and cheap rope to short star pickets. It seems if you can fit the tarps snugly enough so no edges lift, they don't rip. Very surprised to see them there in the morning :-)
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Have you looked into roll down segmented shutters? http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&q=rolling%20shutters%20for%20windows&biw=1120&bih=512
The nice thing about them is that they can be operated easily, and have ventilation slits between slats which also let in a small amount of light. So they're not just for storm conditions. Also useful for security, blocking heat gain or loss and noise, and taking a nap in peace and quiet.
R
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wrote:

[...] Remeasured - we are 144km south of the crossing point. Estimated wind speed confirmed at +/- 200km/hr = Category 3.
[...]

Might be prejudiced, but not too keen on segmented devices - too many types currently lying around here crumpled up or wrapped around tree stumps. I think the problem is the high-low-high pressure oscillations you get with cyclones. Gutters are the first to come off (which is why we don't have any in the first place) followed by the segmented stuff.
It's funny noticing the items that didn't move, eg an empty 50 litre plastic drum, a letter box on a rotten pice of timber, that normally starts falling over as soon as you open the lid.
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I'm not sure what you have in your neck of the woods, but you can get rollups in Florida that are rated for up to 360 kph winds, and 250 kph rating is no big deal.
It sounds like you have a nice ready-made market for becoming a distributor/installer.

I was meaning to talk to you about your letter box. Some of the neighbors think it's an eyesore... ;)
R
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wrote innews:

That figures - the local stuff is crap. Do you have any brands, web links? Would be useful to pass on to my colleagues at JCU Cyclone Testing Station - they usually do a post-mortem in association with the building codes board.

Vernacular artform in decline I'm afraid -
http://www.lonelyplanetimages.com/images/100467?group35878018
Neighbours haven't got over the fact that the front door is on the side, and the toilet and bathroom windows face the street. Well - it fits the design criterion "... dwellings shall address the street ...".
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I live in a safe part of the country, so have no need for such shutters. Sorry I have no additional specific info. If you DAGS Florida hurricane shutters wind mph rating, you should get some good hits.

I love that mailbox. Dripping with wabi sabi.

AD-dress, not UN-dress. Sheesh, you nudists are all alike.
R
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Thanks - will be interesting

About 12 months. Often still intact after that, but start to rip as soon as you touch them, or the local fauna (peacocks, brush turkeys etc) start stomping around on them. Quality truck-type covers might be better but a lot more expensive, also heavier so takes more than one person to fit. The largest silver one cost around $A35 so it's a reasonable trade-off.
The blue variety, available almost anywhere I think, last about a month around here and then start to shread.
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