The past few days in Wellington have witnessed the destructive force of nature at a magnitude not seen in decades. Debris litters the south coast, with sand dunes and sea walls obliterated, trees torn from their roots, slabs of concrete cracked and moved like putty in a giant’s hands. Many thousands of people have been without power for days and others are having to face huge clean-ups of their homes, with roofs ripped off, trees down and flooding from rain and sea water.
We are personally fortunate to have retained power and have been left with a dry, warm, home, still intact. We do have a couple of uprooted trees that require the attention of an arborist and a lot of debris to clear up on our driveway and property – but that’s nothing compared to the suffering of others. One family were actually asleep in their bedrooms when their roof was torn off from over their heads!
In all of this destruction there have been many acts of kindness and bravery. So many people worked throughout the storm to help clear roadways, restore power to homes and make neighbours safe. Social media networks have been a buzz with safety warnings, offers of help and splashes of humour to keep the spirits up.
Wellington is used to wind, but this was of a magnitude that even hardy Wellingtonians were shocked by. I love the wild spirit of this part of New Zealand and the beauty of the rugged coastline, but it is sad to see the damage and debris of such a destructive storm.
I wrote a little poem to mark the storm – how could I not?! Sharing it with you now, along with some photographs I took of our south coast neighbourhood.
Here’s a video, taken by Wellington City Council, around the south coast on the morning after the storm…