Blenheim family waits out cyclone Oswald

22:31, Jan 28 2013
Stormy weather: The view from the apartment building near Surfers Paradise where a Blenheim family is in lock-down because of the storms.

A Blenheim woman said the weather in Surfers Paradise was "chaotic" as strong winds and rain from the tail of tropical cyclone Oswald continue to batter Queensland.

Three people have been confirmed dead in the extreme weather, during which power has been cut to 200,000 houses, trees uprooted and homes and streets flooded.

Jodie Keen said the view from the apartment building where she and her family were staying was "just crazy, with absolutely chaotic winds and branches flying everywhere".

"It is so unpredictable, the winds are quite scary. They are slamming the sides of the building and a tree outside the building has been uprooted," she said.

Mrs Keen, her husband and their four children have been in lock-down in a holiday apartment in the suburb of Labrador since Sunday afternoon.

There had been reports on television news of 12-metre swells on the beach 10 metres from the apartment, and the building supervisor had told them to stay inside until further notice, she said.


"We are hearing on the news that the worst is yet to come and we are thinking how much worse can it get?"

Their apartment is on the fifth floor and her family, including children aged 11, 9, 8, and 4, were not in any immediate danger.

"[The children] are parked up on the couch - they don't know what is going on."

The Keens were in Australia on holiday and to visit family, and were unlikely to make their return flight because the airport was shut and the roads closed.

"We have travel insurance, so they will just have to wait and see what happens."


The Marlborough Express