As last week drew to a close, residents were preparing for the worst.
Predictions of up to 200mm of rain were made for the region and multiple flooding alerts and warnings were issued.
The SES started sandbagging and those who were in the city for the 2012 floods know that’s the first indication we are in for some interesting weather.
Cut to the weekend, when we had 60.4mm total over Saturday and Sunday.
It’s a significant amount of rain, well above the monthly average in December in just two days, but it’s far from the storm we were promised.
Weather watchers, while not getting excited at the loss of livestock, properties or homes, know how exciting a good storm can be.
But we didn’t even get that.
There was no thunder, no lightning, just heavy and consistent rain.
And it was lovely.
It made for a cosy afternoon in.
But it makes us wonder, was this weather event just a storm in a tea cup?
It’s better to be too prepared than caught unawares during a flood but how much money was spent to prepare?
And did we really need a rescue helicopter flown in on standby?
Once again, the SES did a remarkable job in attending callouts, sending out alerts (via email and text message) and informing the public on storm progress.
It’s the sort of response you want from the SES, no matter how big the deluge is.
Of course, if this rain does not soak in, any future downpours does have the potential to flood.
But are Riverina residents likely to take the next warning seriously given that this one led to not much at all?
It was a similar situation in Victoria with the “10 out of 10” storm that never happened.
Sure, there was some rain and events and sporting matches were cancelled.
But they were minor inconveniences, not the soggy Armageddon that we were prepared for.
A lot of people sat around and said “oh, it won’t flood” and they were right.
Hopefully they are right next time and we are not caught unawares.
There has to be a better way to alert residents without panicking them or giving unrealistic examples of what’s to come or creating hysteria.