That’s Far North Queensland, mate

About the only sensible thing I’ve heard about Cyclone Ita came from a local: that’s Far North Queensland, mate.

And what has happened to our fighting spirit: hope for the best, plan for the worst?

Now the motto seems to be: plan for the worst and be disappointed when it doesn’t happen.

This is certainly theme of the Greens, the press and assorted other types (Campbell Newman,even?).  And tell me someone: what was Melissa Doyle doing in FNQ?

And what’s was the Mayor of Cooktown smoking when he said:

“Cooktown tomorrow, as we know it today, will not be the same tomorrow,’’

And a bit more hyperbole from an academic who went to Queensland to observe Ita:

The powerful storm will rip off roof tops, destroy homes and level forests, James Cook University Geoscience Professor Jonathan Nott, told AAP.

“If this tracking doesn’t change in the next six hours then I think it will be an absolute calamity.”

No cigar for either these apocalypsophiles.

It turns out that Cooktown will be back to normal in about 12 weeks.

 

 

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65 Responses to That’s Far North Queensland, mate

  1. Andrew

    Poor Greens. It’s been a lean summer for them. A couple of fires in October to get their hopes up – then nothing. It’s almost Easter, so this was one of their last shots at an Abbottabbottabbott666 opportunity. Now Grublam will have to rewrite his speech, and talk about homos in July.

  2. entropy

    To be fair to the cooktown mayor, it reads quite different to the way he said it.

  3. Robert O.

    Cyclone Ita made landfall north of Cooktown and its intensity rapidly diminished to category 1. It caused some damage, but brought two days solid rain with it and the seas were pretty rough. I would go as far as saying that the news people would have been happier with more damage to report than there was. This view is not shared by the locals naturally who regard themselves as lucky. However, listening to the reports in Sydney, Melbourne… you would think that it was far worse than it actually was, and compared to cyclones Yarsi and Larry, a minor inconvenience.

  4. entropy

    I should also say that the track only needed to about 25 km further east and it would have hit cooktown at cat 4. Because of the shape of the coast and how Ita crossed it, cooktown was not exposed as much as it could have been with a track more to the east. In that scenario port Douglas and cairns would also have been hit, which would have been biblical as most Cairns residents have yet to see a real cyclone hit them. It is almost like the city is protected by some kind of force field. When the day comes it will be a death trap.

    It will be interesting to see images of where Ita came across the coast near Cape Flattery. I suspect the trees will look like bare poles, if they are still standing.

  5. Rodney

    You forgot to mention that without Global warming the dammage would have been much worse.

  6. jupes

    Funnily enough, Labor can be blamed for much of the hyperbowl and apocalypsophilia. A brief history of the last few Queensland disasters:

    Bligh was doing badly in the polls when the floods hit. She then grasped the opportunity given to her by the weather and gave what seemed to be a permanent press conference. Annoying sign language interpreter at her side, she made it her job to give the flood updates.

    Then, while telling us how tough Queenslanders are, she cried. For reasons beyond my comprehension, crying is somehow regarded as a good leadership in the 21st century. Bligh’s polling went up, so TLS tried to get in on the act.

    Among her multitude of stuff-ups, few people now remember how she couldn’t even appear sympathetic to the victims of the floods. She was hopeless.

    Next came Cyclone Yasi and this time TLS got into the act early. Her and Bligh shared a podium telling all and sundry how Yasi was going to be the worst cyclone of all time if not the apocalypse itself. Never mind ‘Keep calm and carry on’, this was ‘Run for your lives, we’re all going to die!’

    All pathetic stuff but according to Labor at least, that’s what the punters want from our leaders these days.

  7. cohenite

    Alarmists are vultures; they want catastrophe so their vanity project, AGW, and their superiority can be vindicated. Jo has a funny post on the topic.

  8. H B Bear

    The Magic Negro did alright out of that New York storm too.

    If you are a socialist politician without any policies and nothing to show for running up vast levels of debt these storms are pretty useful.

  9. entropy

    In a risk management calculation, governments have clearly decided the risk of being seen to have not done enough as much greater than a careful and judicious assessment of what is an appropriate response.

  10. duncanm

    apocalypsophiles

    doesn’t really have a nice ring to it.

    How about apocalyptites?

    (which reminds me of that somewhat disturbing (but historically relevant, given the popularity of the Greens) Mel Gibson movie “Apocalypto”)

  11. Turtle of WA

    The news went quiet very quickly.

    It has been the traditional practice of news services, especially the ones our taxes pay for, to be careful about maintaining morale and preventing panic by not exaggerating natural disasters. Not any more. Frank Elly was busting a nut the other day on RN to lay on the hyperbowl.

  12. dave up north

    That line from the Cooktown Mayor probably came to him as he thought of what happened to Cardwell and other areas up here in the past. If it means nothing you people elsewhere then shut the fuck up.

  13. iamok

    I thought I was the only one who was going down this path. Every impending event is a catastrophe, thankfully most aren’t. But this latest scaled up to cat 5, hit at 4, quickly down to 1. How the meeju must have been disappointed, no sad faces to practice. Objectivity out he window for good. Just another bit of fodder for the doom and gloom green brigade.

    Open another Maccas I say!

  14. Alfonso

    Aviation matey in Cairns reports the US Navy met site has provided more reliable cyclone movement predictions in past years than the BOM site, as it has this time.

  15. Turtle of WA

    Would you like a bag?

    Yes please.

  16. Ubique

    The Greens and their boosters at the ABC and Fairfax love nothing better than a good natural catastrophe. Their disappointment at Cyclone Ita failing to deliver destruction and death is palpable.

    After all the fear and consternation that was raised by the bloated blowhard Al Gore and his ilk following Hurricane Katrina, the fact is not a single severe hurricane (Cat 3 or higher) has crossed the US Coast since 2005 – hurricane Wilma was the last in October of that year. That’s the longest hurricane drought the US has experienced in more than a century.

  17. Bruce of Newcastle

    Poor Greens. It’s been a lean summer for them.

    The global Accumulated Cyclone Energy (which is a composite of the size and wind speed of all cyclones) has been dropping since late 1993. CO2 has gone up over 10% in that time.

    The US hasn’t had a Cat 4 hurricane hit their coast for over 8 years, which is an all time record. The latest hurricane season was exceptionally weak, with only two hurricanes of any strength in the whole Atlantic basin.

    On this data it suggests that “global warming” is actually a good thing.

  18. Roger

    Er…did Jonathan Nott travel to QLD to observe Ita? As a professor at JCU he lives in Cairns. He’s predicted a super cyclone for years now as a result of his studies of coral shingle deposits left by previous cyclones and accompanying storm surges the odds are on his side. NQ is due for a big one and if one ever heads for Cairns mass evacuation will be required. But, yes, he could be a bit less eager in his expressed desire to see carnage and destruction.

  19. Splatacrobat

    Australia……..A land of droughts and flooding rains.

    Always was, always will be.

  20. tomix

    They don’t mind shark attacks either. The liberal Party in W.A.s Senate rerun lost ground to the Greens following the move against the feeding rights of white pointers.

  21. Roger

    The media seem to now package a potential/actual disaster as an entertainment product for consumption and vicarious enjoyment rather than straight information. I sense politicians now have little choice – or is it sense? – but to permit themselves to be drawn into it. Even the ABC here in QLD got caught up in it, producing a one hour news special on Friday night with a follow up on Saturday that was, well, a bit of an anti-climax after the build up.

  22. braddles

    After days of predictions of 280-300 kph winds, what Cooktown got was two hours at 60-80 kph. We’ve had worse than that in Melbourne in the last 12 months, more than once. Sure, there was masses of rain, but this is north Queensland for crying out loud.

    And ‘entropy’ says it was all 25 km from massive destruction? Pull the other one. What happened to the ’500km’ storm?

  23. Kaboom

    All said and done, but Cyclone Yasi was incredibly powerful. If some monster like that seeks landfall in Cairns or Cooktown, you would really need to run away as fast as possible. Cairns has been very fortunate for generations, and thinking that it will not happen in the future is fallacious.

    Cooktown equally has been most fortunate. If either place bore the brunt of a Yasi equivalent, the destruction would be significant, only because of the learning curve of the respective Building Codes.

    A substantial proportion of buildings (both residential and commercial) would be utterly destroyed by a Yasi event. Each building destroyed becomes multiple missiles hurtling towards downwind properties.

    Mitigation is running away – as simple as that. The GreenFilth and the ALPBC intensely desire this level of destruction to occur – however, normal people still sensibly view it as “Life in the North”, and act appropriately.

  24. H B Bear

    BOM forecasts are right up there with Treasury in terms of accuracy.

    Same underlying problem as well – too many believers.

  25. Anne

    HYPERBOWL! HYPERPOT! HYPERBUCKET!

    It’s an all ‘caps’ emergency folks!

    Quick, pay more tax to employ more government to protect us from ourselves.

    Stupid lefty academics, always searching for superlatives!

  26. jumpnmcar

    I you buy or build a house made of straw then don’t complain that a Big Bad Wolf blew it down.
    We get BBWs up here, can’t handle that then piss off or perish.
    Simple.

  27. H B Bear

    No $15 a kilo bananas either. That’s a big win for smoothy lovers.

  28. Tel

    The US hasn’t had a Cat 4 hurricane hit their coast for over 8 years, which is an all time record. The latest hurricane season was exceptionally weak, with only two hurricanes of any strength in the whole Atlantic basin.

    Obama may not be doing much for the US economy, but he does a bloody good job of quieting down the hurricanes, and he has the stats to prove it too.

  29. jumpnmcar

    No $15 a kilo bananas either. That’s a big win for smoothy lovers.

    What will treasury blame for inflation now ?
    Or was that just Swan being a liar.

  30. Senile Old Guy

    Er…did Jonathan Nott travel to QLD to observe Ita?

    He was in Cooktown to observe Ita.

  31. Tom

    The GreenFilth and the ALPBC intensely desire this level of destruction to occur – however, normal people still sensibly view it as “Life in the North”, and act appropriately.

    Having the howler monkeys in the media crying wolf about the weather for the past decade and seeing one hysterical scare after another resulting in nothing short of sullen disappointment from the new ruling class when it has come to nothing is making the population cynical about the weather bureau’s ability to do its job and the competence of the official response generally.

    The positive is that people are seeing the ever-growing government Big Brother on all its levels, municipal to national, as part of the problem and they’re better off relying on themselves and their mates to protect themselves.

  32. David

    the feeding rights of white pointers

    I thought this thread was about hurricanes not breast feeding.

    :-)

  33. jupes

    The positive is that people are seeing the ever-growing government Big Brother on all its levels, municipal to national, as part of the problem and they’re better off relying on themselves and their mates to protect themselves.

    Yeah nah.

    Governments are too eager to dole out taxpayer’s money after disasters.

    IIRC, after the Vic bushfires uninsured homeowners were given compensation from the (state?) government. That is a big incentive to ditch self-reliance and rely on big nanny.

  34. Up The Workers!

    Damn!

    Doesn’t it just piss you off when the latest earth-smashing, genocidal apocalyptic Armageddon mass- catastrophe of Biblical proportions, turns out to be just three spits of rain and half a puff of wind once again!

    If I was any less apathetic, I might almost be tempted to write a sternly-worded letter of complaint to Ravendra Pachauri and the I.P.C.C., but I just couldn’t be bothered!

  35. rickw

    The GreenFilth and the ALPBC intensely desire this level of destruction to occur – however, normal people still sensibly view it as “Life in the North”, and act appropriately.

    Not to mention that there is a whole heap of structural design standards for buildings located in areas subject to Cyclones AND each time one hits a city or town, they get out had have a look at any damage to buildings and try and determine if any changes are required to the standards (ie. what worked like it should, what didn’t work like it should).

    In fact the risk to life and property posed by cyclones is ever decreasing! In a cyclone I’ll take a modern blockwork house with concrete filled sections and a positive connection between the roof structure and the slab over a traditional queenslander any day! These people are complete idiots.

  36. Aussieute

    cohenite +1
    that was a great post … if I responded to this I’d be banned

    Part of being a science communicator is hoping a natural disaster kills as many members of the audience as possible, as soon as possible, with as much media exposure as possible. As a communicator myself, I’d like nothing better than if thousands of middle-class white people died in an extreme weather event—preferably one with global warming’s fingerprints on it. Live on cable news. Tomorrow.

  37. Anne

    …and a positive connection between the roof structure and the slab…

    What does that mean Rick?

  38. A Lurker

    MegaDeath-Cyclone Ita turned out to be a bit of a fizzer in the catastrophe department.
    That little girl at Childers turned up safe.
    The plane that went missing, is still missing, and there seems to be a complete absence of a crash site.

    The media vultures must be feeling very disappointed right now – which means, they’ll be back to making up lies about Tony Abbott again.

  39. Combine_Dave

    It’s ok, once the cyclones stop the boat people are sure to start flowinh to rain on Abbott’s /sarc

  40. Andrew

    What will treasury blame for inflation now ?
    Or was that just Swan being a liar.

    Gooses pisses on the “petrol and bananas” price shock of 2007 (even though oil was $150/bbl and bananas $15/kg). Initiates deflationary policies and pushes interest rates to 10yr highs during a global deflation shock – the fucking idiot.

    Then has the colossal gall to blame the next inflation spike on bananas! I guess he figured his supporters have an attention span under 4 years. That was the precise moment I started to truly loathe him, as opposed to merely consider him a misguided fool.

  41. Kaboom

    “…and a positive connection between the roof structure and the slab…”

    What does that mean Rick?

    Basically, a solid tie-down between the roof and the floor slab, designed to withstand cyclonic winds, with a few sacrificial roof tiles able to pop off to equalise pressure differentials within the structure.

    Recent (say post 1972) building Codes require this, but Cairns and Cooktown have many old-fashioned structures, which would simply be destroyed by a significant cyclone.

  42. Anne

    Thanks so much Kaboom. That’s really interesting.

    I used to live in Townsville, I should know about these things. :-)

  43. jumpnmcar

    Anne
    Thread bolts or cyclone bolts are set in the slab and go vertically to the roof trusses.
    Most damage is caused by large footpath trees ( no root structure on the road base side )
    Most fatalities are from idiots drowning or asphyxiating themselves with generators when the power gets taken out by a tree.
    ( it.s a fair bet they’re mostly Victorians ) :)

  44. C.L.

    You’ve gotta feel sorry for Australia’s Molochist left.

    They’ve been ravenous for death since the Abbott coup.

    None at sea.

    None in roof-tops.

    None from Abbott-induced cyclonic cyclones.

    “DAMMIT … FUCK!” you can hear them yell.

  45. Kaboom

    Anne, if you were in TSV for Althea over Xmas 1971, you would know all about it!

    The W33/W44 Codes were introduced straight afterwards.

    Nowadays, with a properly designed dwelling on absolute beachfront (say Mission Beach for example), the structure will survive the cyclonic winds, AND the 7 metre storm surge, with proper tie-downs and sacrificial windows.

    However, this means that anything inside your house will be absolutely trashed, and so too would any human or animal life…

    “Run away!” is not so silly.

  46. Senile Old Guy

    The GreenFilth and the ALPBC intensely desire this level of destruction to occur – however, normal people still sensibly view it as “Life in the North”, and act appropriately.

    +1

  47. Ant

    Would it matter to these public funded numpties even if their predictions did come true?

    I recall John Brumby saying, in the week leading up to Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires, that it was going to be “about as bad as it could possibly get.”

    And it turned out that he was absolutely right.

    So what did the chief commissioner of police do on the day to prepare?

    She spoke to her biographer, had her hair done and then went out to dinner with friends with her phone turned off.

  48. Anne

    Thanks Jump.

    I was there in the late eighties Kaboom and don’t recall any really bad storms. I still have property up there though (land not structures) and friends so I have keen interest.

    Incidentally, I gave donations to the Cyclone Yassi and the Queensland Flood Premier Appeal a few years ago but after seeing how Anna Bligh spent the money I avowed to give cash directly to people I know in future.

  49. Kaboom

    Anne, basically there hasn’t been any bad storms that have hit Townsville since Althea in 1971, which resulted in 3 deaths from memory.

    If a Yasi (3 February 2011) or even a Tracy (24 December 1974) hit TSV today, the destruction would be incredible, due to old buildings that have (so far) withstood the tests of time.

    Tracy (1974 Darwin) had a death count in the 70′s. Compare this with Yasi (2011 Tully, Mission Beach) I think had one death, due to carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator. Yasi I believe was far more powerful than Tracy.

    It all comes down to information – “Shit, that’s a big storm heading our way!”.

    Run away. Inland. Not silly, and these days, you have plenty of prior warning.

  50. Senile Old Guy

    It all comes down to information – “Shit, that’s a big storm heading our way!”.

    Run away. Inland. Not silly, and these days, you have plenty of prior warning.

    Yep, except that the people who ran south out of Darwin to get away from Monica found that they had moved themselves closer to it. Check the track.

  51. Ian George

    There were two severe cyclones in Ayr in 1988 and 1989 with one death in each one. Do they count?

  52. Anne

    Do you remember their names Ian?

  53. Anne

    Ian,

    Cyclone Delilah rings a vague cow bell…

  54. Kaboom

    Senile, thanks for that. TC Monica was very unusual re-forming like that.

    However, on 24 April 2006, any person in Darwin who didn’t pack up and head towards the Alice at high speed was basically silly, as the former TC Monica (now only a “tropical low”) didn’t get anywhere south of Darwin until 27th April. It only would have affected those leaving Darwin after 25 or 26 April.

  55. Makka

    “If it means nothing you people elsewhere then shut the fuck up.”

    Dave up North, the bottom line is that cyclones will continue to ravage FNQ as they have done for centuries. If that is not something residents are prepared to chance their luck on then they have the option to leave. Mayors using the cyclone as a media event to troll for votes deserve the disdain they get. Maybe it is you who should shut the fuck up – FNQ just isn’t so special that others can’t opine on all this pumped up BS about what is in fact just another cyclone in the Aussie tropics.

  56. Jessie

    Cyclone Ingrid was a nasty little one, bit of a scare for the bauxite mine and port. NT has its fair share, but NT News is nothing in comparison to the Courier Mail and ABC populations.

  57. Ian George

    Anne

    *Tropical Cyclone Charlie – 21 February – 1 March 1988

    *Severe Tropical Cyclone Aivu – 4 April, 1989.

  58. CatAttack

    Just a symptom of our risk averse society in general (not that anyone wants to be in the path of a category 5 cyclone). But seriously this is becoming bloody ridiculous when we start agonising over events that haven’t even occurred yet.

    Then to top it off you have those reporters standing in the rain for effect. FFS.

  59. Anne

    Yes Ian, Charlie sounds familiar.

    Gotta love NQ.

    I was in Townsville the summer that 20 inches of rain fell in one day, six of those in one hour!

    It was amazing. I think it was 1997.

  60. entropy

    braddles

    #1263540, posted on April 13, 2014 at 4:00 pm
    After days of predictions of 280-300 kph winds, what Cooktown got was two hours at 60-80 kph. We’ve had worse than that in Melbourne in the last 12 months, more than once. Sure, there was masses of rain, but this is north Queensland for crying out loud.

    And ‘entropy’ says it was all 25 km from massive destruction? Pull the other one. What happened to the ’500km’ storm?

    I’ll spell it out for you.
    A cyclone, once it crosses into land, rapidly loses power.
    North of Cape Flattery, the Cape coast runs northwest-southeast. South of Cape flattery, the coast runs north-south.
    Ita crossed the coast just to the west of Cape Flattery and thus travelled south over largely unpopulated land, which rapidly killed its power. Over hundred kms later it passed inland of Cooktown as a category2/1. If the cyclone had been tracking a further 25 kms further east as it approached Cape Flattery, it would have missed landfall and run alongside the coast, but over water, and when it passed over cooktown it would have been a cat 4, before then hitting Port Douglas and Cairns, where it would have still been a strong cat 3.

    That 25 kms further west in the track made all the difference between a monstrous, damaging storm and a fizzier. A fizzed, I might add, that destroyed the aboriginal community of Hope Vale’s banana plantation, and made a mess of four other big plantations further west.

  61. Breast is best.

    As a user of sorts, I concur.

  62. Senile Old Guy

    It only would have affected those leaving Darwin after 25 or 26 April.

    From memory, some left early; others waited to see what would happen. The late leavers were the ones heading into it.

    I was not going to leave. Whether or not this would have been a wise decision, we will never know (fortunately).

  63. Anne

    The Beer Whisperer
    #1263953, posted on April 14, 2014 at 12:23 am
    Breast is best.

    As a user of sorts, I concur.

    Beer, please change your Gravatar.

  64. Ian George

    Anne
    Jan 11th, 1998 – 21 inches (548mm) – 974 for the month. Must have been something to experience.

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