Being in temp accommodation (sans internet) after my house-hunting trek this morning I dropped into the office to use the net and prep some lease applications among other things.
And then the hail started, followed quickly by the flashflooding. I threw out this video of the view of Elizabeth Street from my office window.
Twitter picked it up and it suddenly ended up everywhere, which was interesting to watch . I’d not really had a chance to see that happen realtime on Twitter before – it’s no wonder there is research on social media in disaster areas and its use as a source of info for emergency workers and the media.
(Here’s another video of Elizabeth St after the waters receded, for comparison).
Knowing there was another storm front coming, and preferring to be in an office with internet and music than at my apartment, I stepped outside to get some food and beer when the water receeded. And I remembered what it was like after every minor incident I’ve experienced: there is energy in the air. That sense of community creeps back in.
Strangers were candidly sharing stories about where they were and what they saw. I saw the same thing years ago after the huge storm in NSW that derailed the train I was on, shut down half of the state, caused multiple fatalities, millions of dollars damage and ultimately beached the Pasha Bulker at a city beach in Newcastle.
I understand why it happens. Several reasons:
- Something out of the ordinary brings people out of their distracted world / sort of a wakeup
- Excitement / adrenalin
- Wanting information
- Sort of bragging / desire to share (the story telling)
- Shared experience (context)
I just wish that this removal of barriers was around more often. It would be much nicer to have more nice random conversations and connections with strangers – we do live in the same city, after all