When the weather brings us back to Earth

Tasmania was reminded of the might of a different mother this week.

As we celebrated Mothers Day on Sunday, the effects of the over-arching Mother Nature were not far from thoughts.

Hobart was still counting the costs of its extreme storm event, which has left a damage bill that is expected to run into the millions.

Northern Tasmania watched from afar as the capital was battered by more than 100 millimetres of rain.

The footage of cars being washed down the CBD’s main streets was alienating. 

Was this really Hobart? Tasmania is well known for its kooky weather – the mighty Mount Wellington that stands watch over the city often gets a dusting of snow in the summer.

This was more than an odd weather event. Buildings were inundated.

Books from the University of Tasmania’s law library were washed off their shelves and strewn across the campus oval.

Workplaces were destroyed, the flood waters indifferent to the hard work put in by business owners.

Kingston and Taroona beaches were scenes from War of the Worlds, with fish farm infrastructure washed onto the shore.

Thankfully, no human lives were lost. Many were saved through the heroic acts of our emergency services men and women.

Throughout the night and into the morning, they were called to rescue people from cars stuck in flooded streets, others marooned and surrounded by rising waters.

It took into Saturday for the SES to answer the thousands of calls for help that it received.

Tasmania is so fortunate to have such dedicated, selfless, and skilled responders.

They are one of the most important parts of our community fabric.

Last week’s events were a terrifying deja vu, back to the 2016 Tasmanian floods.

It was a reminder of how powerless concrete can be against unyielding rain and wind.

Just like the Dunalley bushfires, the 2016 flood event forever altered the state’s response to a natural disaster.

No longer nonchalant, we are now almost hyper vigilant. 

That is part and parcel of living so closely linked with our land, as we do in Tasmania.

It is not a case of being afraid of our surroundings, but just of being aware, and prepared.