The brave little shrubs are doing their valiant best to stay intact as a plant pot skids across our balcony in Cyclone Gabrielle’s first caress. With much worse yet to come I need to know what, where, and when.
I need information and, if I have to cut my way through a jungle of official sources, I will still be in the rain forest when Gabby takes me in her crushing embrace.
This, I tell myself, is precisely why we need news media. They draw together an overwhelming range of sources and condense information into a readily absorbed format. Then they keep updating and adding to the picture.
As I write this commentary on Monday, that picture is already changing. An hour ago, the rain was a fine drizzle and there was little wind. Now the rain is heavier, and the wind is coming in strong gusts. In another couple of hours I expect the freight train that Northland residents heard as Gabrielle passed through, and the driveway will be a cascade. Then the triangle of soil (that has already subsided by about 30 centimetres) may slide from the edge of the adjacent bush reserve into the stream below.