Monday, August 24, 2009

The windstorm (update with pics)

We've always gotten a lot of wind here. It's ripped a 3 x 3 m colourbond/steel frame door straight off it's hinges on the shed and into the neighbors paddock, flipped over aviaries, sent all manner of toys flying and felled "branches" in the paddocks big enough to qualify as proper trees. Last Sunday morning we woke up to find a tree had come down and taken off the front of the house, some gutters, some fencing and along with it the electric lines, water and phone lines.

Normally the insurance would put us up at a hotel but with bottle lambs, dogs, the cat, the birds etc it just wasn't going to be practical so we asked them for a generator and Telstra has rigged a temporary phone line a few days ago but the insurance has done very little else, so we've still got tarps over the hole, the wall propped, no electricity and no running water.

The view from inside the kitchen

The SES helping to secure things - nothing but the best to say about them, they were great! After the electricity was off and it was safe for everyone, they were able to put a prop up, as once they removed the tree and branches the front would have fallen. From there it had to be tarped up as we're continuing to have windstorms and rain almost every day.

The good news is that it only took out the house, rather than taking out any of us, so we're all safe. The bad news is the insurance company has to go through twenty billion bits of red tape before they do much and the front of the house will have to be rebuilt and an electrician come out to fix the damaged wiring before they can re-hook up electrics, phone etc so we've got no real time frame for how long that will be... it's been a week already and all they've done is send out about 15 different assessors, which have all done the same thing as far as I can tell and we're supposed to have another one coming in the next few days. In the fine tradition of bureaucracy, I got a phone call the other day to let me know I'd be getting a phone call in the next few days. What about? Dunno. Why I needed a phone call to inform me I'd be getting it? Equally mysterious. As far as I can tell essentially the hold up is that they've got 9 tons of red tape to go through, the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing and in my more cynical and over it moments I suspect that both hands are busy wanking.


Sif said...

LOL, maybe they keep sending assessors in the hope that one of them will show up and find the wall has magically repaired itself?

I was trying to figure out why you guys weren't at a hotel, but i hadn't taken into consideration your "extended" family... Sounds like this process could take months!

Amanda O. said...

I have noooo idea to be honest... seems to me it'd be pretty straight forward - "Why yes m'am, there DOES indeed appear to be a gaping hole where the front of your house used to be! The large tree probably should not coming through the wall either..." But you know what they say about common sense - it isn't!

Yeah, the hotel would have been nice! Unfortunately they were unable to locate one that would take 3 dogs and 2 lambs as well as 2 children and 2 adults. I did have an offer from another Aussie breeder near here to take care of them for me or even for us all to stay there but I didn't want to impose and to just have her board the dogs would have been complicated for various reasons I won't go into online. As well, the bottle lambs are young enough they're still taking bottles 5x a day so that'd be 5x a day I'd have to bundle the kids up, haul them out and be here to feed them and let the birds out/feed/in. I know I could have sold them on but they're MY lambs and ewe lambs at that so they're the last lambs I want to get rid of! However nuts I may be for trying to keep us all together... ;)

katepickle said...

wow what a disaster... I reckon I'd be calling the insurance ombudsman by now.. or at least threatening to!

Have been thinking of you today in these wild winds.. hoping you guys are all ok!