Thursday, 14 May 2015

A stormy commute

I love a good storm. Today, we had my favourite kind of storm: heavy rain, thunder and lightning with an absence of wind and cold. The only problem was that we had it while at work. Actually, that wasn't exactly the problem as it was fun looking out our big windows and counting the seconds between the lightning flashes and thunderbolts. The real problem came an hour or so later when we started hearing reports of flooding, rising river levels and road closures. Uh oh. Maybe this was a bit more serious than we first thought.

A colleague and I made a spontaneous decision to jump in her car and try our luck getting home, along with everyone other commuter in Wellington. Trains were being cancelled and buses in rare supply. Signs on the motorway said that State Highway 2 was closed to Petone, but traffic seemed to be moving so we took our chances. We were guided by regular updates from people in Petone and the Hutt, along with various transport and emergency websites. Still, we were surprised at how slowly we crawled along the motorway and became increasingly aware of the change in scenery around us.

Here are a few pics of State Highway 2, taken from out the passenger window (and front windscreen) of the car between 12.30 and 2.30 pm today. This patch of highway from Ngauranga Interchange to the Petone turnoff is about 5 km long; the journey took us nearly two hours.

Run off from Horokiwi hill, before the BP station.
Rocks and debris fell as well as water!
Horokiwi on ramp
Between Horokiwi and Petone.
(This is a hillside, not a river.)
Petone off ramp
I'm pleased to say that we got home safely and had a warm, dry afternoon. I have no plans to leave the house any time soon and feel relieved that most of my team also made it to their various destinations safely, apart from one who is stuck on this side of the Rimutaka Hill but now camped up comfortably in a workmate's spare room. It's been raining constantly for several hours and apparently another deluge is on the way either overnight or tomorrow. I'm really thankful that we're all ok here - and that I can work from home tomorrow.

1 comment:

awesomelyunprepared.com said...

Wow, that's intense!! Storms are fun as long as you're safe I reckon. I've been a bit bummed because every time we get told there's a storm coming, it just misses us!