Plinky Prompt: Describe Your Favorite Place to Drive

Vintage Car

I love driving about the place, discovering new places and enjoying the journey. I love to travel and exploring the countryside. With that said, I obviously enjoy most trips and it is therefore difficult to pick a favorite place to drive.

One of the trips I do like to take on a regular basis is up the Pacific Highway to Coffs Harbour here in Australia. It’s about a 4 hour run from here – so not too taxing.

It’s just a nice little break visiting a few wild spots along the way, picking up a few things at roadside fresh produce stalls, etc.

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AUSTRALIA: NEW SOUTH WALES – New Disaster Threatens

A new disaster now threatens Australia following the bushfire disaster in Victoria and the flood disaster in Queensland. Coastal New South Wales is bracing itself tonight for a severe weather onslaught that may last until the weekend.

A low pressure trough and pressure system is deepening off the coast, with strong winds and heavy rain already lashing the coast. The weather is expected to intensify overnight, with gales and heavy rain over the next 72 hours.

However, the weather has already turned nasty, particularly on the north coast with severe flash flooding and massive seas already wreaking havoc on the coast. Within the last hour or so it has been reported that some 4000 people have been stranded by flooding that closed many roads including the Pacific Highway. A mother and small child are missing in flood waters after being swept away in flash flooding.

A number of rivers are on flood alerts and watches tonight, from the Queensland border south to Sydney. Some of the worst affected areas thus far include Coffs Harbour, Bellingen and Dorrigo. Already some 180 mm of rainfall has fallen in three hours in the north.

BELOW: The swollen river at Dangar Falls, Dorrigo

ABOVE: Rising flood waters in Sawtell


Ten Dead in Cyclone Chaos

Ten people are now confirmed dead following the cyclonic storm that hit Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Central Coast on Friday and Saturday.

A family of five were killed when the car they were travelling in was swept away in flood waters when the road they were driving on simply fell into a swollen creek. The old pacific highway near Sommersby gave way beneath the car and a thirty metre section of the road simply vanished into a chasm. The father, mother, two children and a nephew of the parents were all killed in the road collapse. There were reports that the father could be heard yelling out for help for a short period, but there was no possibility of rescue.

An elderly couple were drowned when their 4WD was swept into flood waters near Clarence Town and their bodies found on a farmer’s property a day or so later.

Among the other fatalities, one man was killed when a tree fell on his vehicle and another man drowned after having managed to escapse from his car which was being swept away, he was then washed into a drain and sucked under.

Twenty one men were rescued from the stricken bulk carrier at Nobby’s beach (see picture of the ship in an earlier posting), when helicopters were called in to rescue them from mountainous seas that saw waves breaking over the ship.

Hundreds of other people were saved from drowning in their cars, shops and homes, by the heroic action of people they didn’t even know. The city abounds with stories of people who only survived the disaster with moments to spare, thanks to the actions of strangers.

It is incredible that only ten have been confirmed dead in this disaster, given that thousands of cars were swept away, flooded and submerged within seconds of when the flooding actually started. I know, I was caught up in it at one point.

People were forced to stay wherever they could find a spot to stay. Some slept in shops that had beds for sale, as shop owners allowed people to sleep on them for the night as their shop was cut off by rising flood waters. Others slept at their place of work or in cars on high ground.

It was an experience that Novocastrians will not want to repeat anytime soon.