Stab Magazine | Queenslanders Cope With Cyclone By Surfing Flood Waters

Queenslanders Cope With Cyclone By Surfing Flood Waters

But is something sinister lurking beneath the standing waves?

news // Mar 31, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

In case you haven’t heard, Queensland has been copping a few showers in the wake of a lil meteorological visitor by the name of Tropical Cyclone Debbie. Earlier this week, Stab reported about a kite surfer utilising Debbie’s harsh winds for recreational reasons. Many thought that would be the end of unnecessarily masochistic antics executed in the face of natural disaster. Well, they thought wrong.  

For context: Deb seemed to be a very serious situation initially. As the Bureau of Meteorology was predicting it to be carrying the strength of a category four storm when it made landfall, with the potential to strengthen to a category five. Which would make Deb the most damaging storm to impact the state of Queensland since 2011’s devastating Tropical Cyclone Yasi.

But, the Bureau of Meteorology underestimated the tenacity of the Australian spirit. Hardened by being raised on an island full of predators and fellow crazy Australians (Mad Max is a documentary, right?), many local Queenslanders put Debbie in their back pocket. Doing the antithesis of heeding warnings posted by meteorological ballyhoo by doing tow-ins with their cars.

Alongside the makeshift whip-ins, a group of surfers in Murwillumbah paddled out to various standing waves as well. A result of rushing floodwaters jacking up after hitting everyday stationary objects like kerbs and parked cars. Altogether creating a scene that looked to be a mixture of Waterworld, Who is JOB 6.0, and Russel Coight’s All Aussie Adventures.

Warning: Language.

But it wasn’t all fun and games. Probably not content with the locals antics, now-ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie has been travelling the coast, wreaking havoc. Particularly in the form of washing up sharks on roads. Yes, sharks, a creature commonly found in Queensland’s waters, and not its streets; until now.

The Queensland Fire & Emergency Service tweeted these spectacular photos of a bull shark that washed up on a road in Ayr, just south of Townsville. A consequence of heavy flooding carrying various animals and debris from the sea inland.

Screen Shot 2017 03 31 at 12.00.08 PM

While somewhat frightening, this is oddly intriguing. Only because it appears we have a real life Sharknado on our hands. Further proving the fact that, at its best, science fiction is not only great art, but also visionary. Jules Verne predicted submarines in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea. H.G. Wells created the predecessor to tanks in The Land Ironclads. Aldous Huxley wrote about antidepressants in Brave New World.

And now, the geniuses that gave us Sharknado can take their place amongst these late, great, SciFi prophets. They tried to warn us, but we didn’t listen. Actual cyclones actually raining down actual sharks on unassuming Ayr residents. Just as was cinematically predicted.

So in case you were under the illusion that jumping in the flood waters will be enjoyable, think again. Because those waters are apparently filled with vagrant sharks.

Queenslander’s laughing off cyclones, locals surfing floodwaters, and sharks washing up on streets. By virtue of the fact that Australia is, well, just that, it’d be pretty impossible for it to be more Australia than it already is. Yet, here we are. Someone cue The Go-Betweens.


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