All photos here are copyright Runningonempty.
New Years Day- U2 :
The Friday before New Year, was really hot here, 40 celcius. We went banking and shopping in the regional city to get into some shopping center (mall) air conditioning. We caught the last bus home. As we were to go over the mountains, I said a safety prayer, and told my family to put on their seat belts.
Part way home the bus came to a stop. It wasn’t at a bus stop. It was this:
It had happened minutes before, the only car in front of us having a near miss. Australian eucalypts -gum trees- are silent killers. If you know what’s good for you, you don’t peg your tent under one of them. They can drop a limb, or as in this case, just topple, no warning. Then you’re dead.
Acerules had her head in her screen, but I persevered in trying to get her out of the bus to see the phenomenon in person, as a lesson. As usual with any unusual occurrence, I was out talking to people. I always like to know first hand if possible what’s going on! A lady was calling for help on her mobile phone.
The police were the first emergency service to arrive.
It was balmy out in the bush and cold inside the bus, from the air conditioning, so most passengers got out. The driver rang his people , then sat it out. There was a bush track, but few went on it, he said it was best to wait. Hubby has been called out to many “tree down”s over the years, sometimes on a cold, stormy night, so it was interesting to see what it involved. He was off duty that day so had to watch.
The SES arrived- State Emergency Service- and started to cut up the tree. A police officer maintained traffic control behind us while another carried log portions to the side of the road. A member of the public helped with that.
SES also cut up trees that fall on people’s houses and cars in storms. In accidents, they cut up vehicles to get people out. They have to keep up their rigorous training.
I know these two guys, they are volunteers, giving up their time for the community in all weathers. I walked a little way into the bush for that “arty” shot, watching out for snakes:
After the tree was nearly all cut, a forestry worker (green shirt in the photos) chained the remainder to his vehicle and dragged it off the road.
A fine example of teamwork, and of how prayer may have protected us on the bus that day. Oh, and you can trust the emergency services, but don’t trust gum trees!