by Dave Allen
Although only seven yrs old,I still remember the events of that "noisy" night.
My mum was a rare single mother living in Moil, straight across from the school. There was my younger sister, younger brother and older brother.
We had been to a party at my mums friends place in Fanny Bay. I remember my mum saying that we better get back home as we needed to get up early to open our presents and go to another of her friends place for a BBQ at lunch time the next day.
The drive home certainly gave no impressions of a cyclone about to hit later that night.
We stayed up a bit late that night, and I remeber I couldn't get to sleep because the wind was keeping me awake. Later on I was getting really scared so I went into my mums room and told her I was scared of the amount of wind around and how much the (two storey) house was moving.
Now as clear as day, and I hold my hand on my heart when I say this, there was a loud crack, just like a shot gun going off and my mums window got pulled out of the side of her bedroom.
This got her attention, and she gathered us all up and went to walk down the stairs to the single brick lock up under the house. By this time the wind was really howling and screaming in every direction.
We had to link arms and started to walk down the stairs. My young sister and younger brother were lifting off the ground, so mum made me and my older brother piggy back them down the stairs. I still rememver the amount of tin, plants and large bits of rubbish flying past in front of us at tremendous speed. Every time the Lightning would flash, I could see just how much damage was already done to our neighbours house on the RHS of us.
We made it to the brick lock up. Went inside and finally got out of the rain and wind.
My older brothers legs were cut and my hands somehow got cut on the outside near the wrists and I still have a small scar to this day.
The brick encloser went from floor to the top of the beams under the house, but rain kept on coming in through the gaps at the top of the bricks.
The walls of the shelter were moving slightly and the tins of paint on the top shelf fell off, with one of them hitting me in the back of the head, and the others hitting my brothers and sister on the back and arms.
The thing that stays with me to this day is the amount of noise from the wind and from the house coming apart.
The amount of debri that was smashing into the side of the shelter also sits with me today as well.
As soon as it all stopped we tried to get out but were trapped by the door not being able to be opened. We had to wait until daylight and mum reassured us that the "men would get us out."
We had to yell for a long time but no one came. Eventually a man came to us and manged to get the door opened about 6 inches and handed mum a long neck of beer full of water for us.
My mum told me it took them about an hour to get the door openend enough for all of us to squeeze out.
As we assembled on the front lawn we looked around and saw the entire top floor of the house was completely gone. Nothing, not even the carpets or Lino was on the floor boards.
Miracle#1The fridge was stuck in the rear stairs of the verandah, so mum went over and got us something to eat. Miracle#2 our dog which we left upstairs inside the house came over to us. Miracle#3 mums jewellery jar with all her necklaces and keepsakes were in the corner of the yard jammed up against the front brick fence.
We stayed the night in the school classroom and the next day we got taken to the airport and flew to Perth to stay at my grandmothers house.
We returned to Darwin 12 months later and moved into a house in Fanny Bay.