Before the flood

Not sure what to expect today. Weather reports are over the top. The weather chief last night said on a scale of 1 to 10 the rain we’ll be copping in the next few days is a 10. There’s a lot of hype and dire predictions. Someone earlier said it could be as bad as the Queensland floods a few years back, but I can’t believe that. After all the hot weather to get floods on the first day of summer is very Melbourne.

It’s strange to think there might be such tumult shortly. I got up at about 2 am to let Rigby out. I stood in the back door wearing nothing. The sky was clear, it was still about 25 degrees. It was so. Still, I stood there, wondering how it could ever change.

I prepared just in case. The last time we had serious rain the garage had an inch of water, soaking the boxes I had in storage there. This time I’ve bagged up the back door. I’ve closed up the house and headed off to work a little later than normal after another steamy night. It was warm still, but the blue skies of the last few weeks were wall to wall cloud. A few drops of rain fell.

I stopped for my Friday coffee and pastry on the way in and almost made it to the office before the rain fell. I reckon I was no more than forty metres from the front entrance of the building when suddenly a burst of large, heavy raindrops hammered down. I ran for it, fortunate that I had not dawdled longer.

As I said, I don’t know what to expect. For me the instinct is to downplay it – dire predictions rarely turn out so dire. It happens though. I half expect my trip home tonight will be disrupted. Prahran station floods with any decent rainfall and the 80mm predicted today would surely inundate it. By experience, that means crowded buses and halting progress through streets clogged with traffic.

We’re fortunate, I guess, that most of the rain will fall over the weekend. I can recall many years ago when I worked in St Kilda road when a sudden extreme downfall led to flash flooding. I lived in South Yarra then, across the road from where I worked. St Kilda road had become a virtual river and come home time I had no choice but to take my shoes and socks off and wade through water that reached just above my knee to get to the far side of the road.

I don’t expect that today, but then I don’t really know what to expect.

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