Between 25 and 29 January it was the Gold Coast hinterland’s turn to host ex-tropical cyclone Oswald. In my 26 years on the mountain I have never seen it so bashed up by the elements. This time it was the trees which were broken or uprooted everywhere. Property damage appears to have been restricted compared to the hailstorm on 16 November 2008, which resulted in hundreds of houses needing new roofs. Parts of the mountain had over 800 mm of rain. I was without power for 3 days, some poor people for 5 days or more.

Hard to fathom how a category 1 cyclone (the most severe is category 5) which formed in the Gulf of Carpentaria 1,600 km from here, could have been so destructive for so long, with record inundation further north only 2 years after once in a century floods, having tracked down the east coast before losing some of its intensity and petering out in NSW.