Friday, 20 May 2011

When it rains, it pours


By now most of you will have heard about the freak storm we had at Djuma earlier this week. It didn't last long, less than 15 minutes, but that was enough to leave a trail of destruction that also Jurie Moolman said he'd never experienced before in his 30+ years at Djuma.

The storm broke as I was doing some broadcast equipment testing in the workshop, and there was not a dry spot anywhere as the rain was pelting in almost horizontally as Marc and I battled to find a dry spot for the camera and to get all equipment of the floor. By then the power was off, so we had to work by the light of Marc's cell phone display. Marc then ran the 10 meters to Final Control and back and in those few seconds was drenched with the ice cold rain.

Soon after, it all stopped and we went to our rooms to dry off (and Marc to warm up a bit :-) We thought that was it, but, boy, were we wrong.

A little later I started worrying about the cabling at the camera tree and decided to go see if it was still covered and dry. Driving out there I could not locate the tree, but at first blamed it on the darkness. I drove back and forth a bit until my head lights suddenly shone on some tree roots sticking up in the air... the roots of our intended camera tree. It was totally blown over and had crashed to the ground. Crushing the light that was in it under a branch. Had the camera been up already it would no doubt have vanished as well. Fortunately it was safe in Final Control due to a delay in getting the mounting ready.



At that point we thought we'd gotten away relatively fine and with no real damage other than some extra work and a delay in getting the camera up and running as the new location requires some pieces of equipment we had not planned on. (And possibly digging a 60 meter trench.)

Well, that was until we found out yesterday that the reason our internet links were down was that not that our antenna dish had moved, but that the complete top section of the mast had turned close to 30 degrees in this storm and our dishes were now pointing 'ins Blaue hinein' rather than at Mariepskop. This is a very serious issue as fixing that in will require a large crane and some careful planning to make sure it is done in a safe manner. Jurie, Graham and Will are working on getting this planned and organised and as will share progress on this as we move towards restoring our internet connection. --Peter

15 comments:

Suzic said...

Ouch, so very sorry, what a mess of our technology based lives Mother Nature can make! At least no one was hurt, and you are all safe!! Blessings to you all, and we will happily wait until we can be with (watch) you again!

jim said...

You See My Friend, Nature Is Not Tecno Savvy

Louise said...

How very sad. Praying that all will be well soon and that everyone is safe..

Anonymous said...

So glad you are all safe.
This makes us realise what a precious site this is. Take care while repairing and erecting the equipment, and look forward to having you all back 'in view' soon
Knitwit

Sheila Mullen said...

Terrible just terrible! Thank you Peter for allowing us to see damage. Thank goodness no one was hurt. Patience IS the word for this end of WE while all of you do your very best repairing damages.

Sally said...

Yikes! That was some storm! Glad you are OK and feeling bad for those poor animals caught in it! No worries ... we understand that things are totally out of your control when nature lashes out! Take care...and we look forward patiently to the return of live drives when that is possible...

Sue said...

The main thing is no one was severely hurt or killed in this freak storm. Equipment can always be replaced but our WE crew cannot. We miss you but will wait as patiently as possible for your return. Please keep safe.

Sue said...

The main thing is that nobody was severely hurt or killed. Equipment can always be replaced, but our WE crew cannot. We will be out here waiting as patiently as possible for your return. Please be safe and prayers that all will be well soon.

Anonymous said...

I pray that everyone has made it thru without injury...although I have only been following since Mother's Day...I already feel like the whole bunch of you are family. I am from Texas of course...is food and supplies readily available? Please let us know if care packages are needed. We are having bad weather here as I write, but hopefully will be here again tomorrow waiting for a sign from your end that all is well...many prayers coming your way....miss Marc and the whole team...Sandy

Nana said...

I am so very thankful for the update and even sorrier for your loss. Since have not heard of any hurt people or animals can only hope that is true. Wish we could do more for you, but God gave me the power of prayer and that is what I will send your way daily. Thank you all for what you do and PLEASE take your time in getting things back up and running. We need you all more than we need anything else. All my love and prayers, Heather

Ginger A said...

Hello everyone! Thank the Lord you are all safe! Marc, you take care of yourself, getting all wet & cold like that could lower your resistance to infection, not to mention catching some respiratory thing that you guys often get. We are doing ok, thank Graham and everyone who went after Petes' Pond! Many of us are meeting there and getting by with watching the crazy Guinea hens and the occasional herd of ellies... Its rough but we're managing to muddle through sending you all our warm feelings and encouragement to restore our favorite web site! Stay safe for us everyone! We just want you to know that we care very much for each of you and worry about ya's too! God Bless, Ginger in Fla.

Anthony Corvelli said...

That's incredible. Sounds like you guys suffered a microburst. Benn in the middle of one once, and it's quite freaky. Like a reversed tornado. :) like yours, it lasted about 10-15 minutes, and we lost about 10 trees at our nature center in seconds.
More importantly, glad no one was hurt there.
~~Anthony Corvelli

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with everyone's comments here in that everyone was safe and only the equipment was damaged. Also as Sandy in Texas said, "Are Care Packages needed?" I would be more than happy to make a donation to Will & Staff as having visited Africa, I know things are not that easy to come by when disasters happen. Any one else up for the task? If so can Will or one of the staff post an address to send donations to. JABBER, So Calif.

Marsha said...

Graham, Pete and everyone. You do have my sympathies. I lived on a canal bank in Miami Aug 1992 when Andrew ripped the trees out from the roots all around my house, and took my roof. Very depressing and makes you realize how insignificant you are compared to natural forces. We're all with you.

Marilyn in Fl said...

I too thank GOD you are all OK. We just found this wonderful site recently and I took my first Safari right before this happened. I truly look forward to the next one, hope you are up and running soon. All the "good stuff" happens there at 3AM here, but I will stay up for you!! You Rock!!!