Facebook Friends Reflect on Yasi

It is one year on since Yasi, and there are some mixed feelings being brought to the surface in many a local heart today.

Right now Premier Anna Bligh is in town, and some brekkie to thank the SES is on, soon prayers are going to be said so some are presently taking solace in the company of a crowd – but I knew last night I wasn’t going to attend any of these functions, firstly because I couldn’t find my driving glasses (the fifth time I’ve misplaced them since Cyclone Yasi-  I need to buy spares) and secondly because I wasn’t sure I wanted to do. Still the events focus on 1- Saying prayers for everyone 2- Thankyou to the SES services, so for those purposes you could pick any hour and it would be okay and there are some people who will find solace in these events and all the power to them.

I woke up this morning after some heavy rainfalls, to check as I normally do (and probably many others) my Facebook messages before heading out into the rest of the day. Hubby was busy checking the roads for flooding, and ensuring he could drive to school and back, that’s February in the tropics for you.

I made an interesting life observation this morning. This time last year I had four or five local Facebook friends, this year 52. I think this is because the community have become closer, and now privacy (which can be hard to come by in country towns) is less important than caring and knowing how people are doing. So everyone has done some extra additions of people into their cybernetworks and family/friends networks. When it’s flooded in and you can’t meet up you can ring, chat and Facebook. You can give support by doing a regular check ups on people, if you want to. Some of us even have become more than facebookians chatters and actually do get together in real space.

‎I wrote this on my Facebook page and scanned the comments of my friends first thing this morning.

Thinking of all those without homes, who left our area, and getting back on track as we head into the year anniversary since Yasi – may you all have a brilliant couple of days doing happy things with your friends, and family and having a good time at work…So this time a year ago we were taping windows and preparing for Yasi, hope everyone has some special time with family friends and that our wet season doesn’t get too severe – what are you doing today and tomorrow?

These were the other comments which friends – have kindly allowed me to share to let you know what we are going through one year on.

12 months…. A long road but we have all come so far!! We thank God we are alive today & pray we never experience anything like it again!! A day of reflection & thanks!!   — Treena Knight, Feluga

Feeling for my sis Julez who is still homeless a year later. Also feeling for the Japanese living in rooms made from cardboard boxes in evacuation centres. Also for the kiwis whose entire town of Christchurch is to be demolished. What a fickle thing you are mother nature   — Emma Gardiner- Murray Upper

One year on…. well tonight I will appreciate (little more than …well always) my bed, my mattress and the knowledge that all things going well and of course God willing my family and I WILL wake up tomorrow and tonight we will talk and maybe even text I love you but it will be because we do love each other and not because we are saying (if I don’t make it) goodbye. Love yas xx — Moala Sitapa -Tully

This time twelve months ago we slept in our dreamy Tully Heads beach shack for the last time … in this chapter of life.  (posted  yesterday) –Cx Carolyn Bofinger, formerly Tully Heads, Brisbane

This time last year, we were up all night taping windows, screwing mattresses into walls, over the windows and staying up all night worrying. Tomorrow night we were listening to it howl, it crossed the coast on the third (at 12:02 am) so the night of the second, early morning of the third. The night before, (tonight) we were preparing.  — David Perkins, formally of Feluga.

12 months ago we were taping windows, packing away anything of value and trying to make it waterproof. Getting the bathroom ready with essentials and mattresses and wondering “What are we in for??” The wind, the noise, the desperate run at 1.30am through the open carport to relocate under the floor of the house and praying that everyone in the district would survive. Well, we DID survive and we have come a long way. Unfortunately for some, there is still a long way to go. I pray that everyone has a good result. Unfortunately our run [to safety] took place with 300km winds still blowing, we didn’t get the eye here.  — Jenny Ottone, Tully

Most people today are working and moving on with life the best they can with all those scaffolds around town, and the usual flooding alerts of February. Many of us are choosing to talk about other things that make us happy and thinking of others.  Some of us feel like we took on a category 5 cyclone, we are capable of achieving our dreams if we are determined.

As the day closes many Cassowary Coasters will most likely be thankful and share a quiet moment with close family and friends maybe reflecting on how far we’ve come, and we might be brave enough to switch the telly on and watch some of the anniversary coverage. We might even knock on our neighbours’ doors, both on the street (real space) and Facebook (the cyberspace) to acknowledge the journey we have all been on.

First published on ABC Open 02 Feb 2012. 


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