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Title: Are We There Yet? 14 people in a station wagon
Name: Cumberland, Diana
My Story: I was 10 at the time, living at 71 Lee Point Road Moil, with my parents Anne and Stephen Brown, 8 year old brother Clayton and 4 month old sister Evette. Dad was bouncing at Lims Hotel and wasn't able to get home. I remember waking to the sound of smashing glass, Mum pushed the wardrobes up against the louvers trying in vain to protect us.I don't know why we left the house, fear must have gripped Mum as she gripped the three of us on the back step of the house. I remember looking out and seeing debris slice through the air. How we moved to the neighbour's house without being sliced ourselves is a miracle. The house was empty and locked so we moved again to the house behind where the Watters' family lived with their five children, including my friend Natalie who was 11 years. They were sheltering in their bathroom. No sooner did we sit down, the ceiling disappeared and the walls collapsed outwards.┬áLuckily the eye was directly over us and we took advantage of this and climbed into their station wagon. As we did another couple from an elevated house across the road joined us with their young child. Fourteen people in a station wagon, five adults and nine children. I don't know how we all fitted in that vehicle. I do remember being trapped under the weight of people on top of me while I lay face down in the back.The car drove around the corner then the stillness was replaced with the full velocity of the winds again. That's when the car windows smashed, spraying us with glass as we lay squashed together like sardines. The car rocked about while I prayed to God to save us. I remember hearing the other children cry out "Are we there yet?" It felt like hours before the sun finally rose and the winds abated giving us the first glimpse of the devastation.It truly was a miracle that we survived. In the morning light we could see the battering the car had endured, every panel was dented and pieces of metal were sticking out from the body, one had gone right through the door narrowly missing my mother's head.It was only a matter of days before we were evacuated on a Hercules to Brisbane. When our taxi pulled up in front of my Nana's unit she was overjoyed to see us and surprised too, as she had been told that we had perished. I remember the first storm we went through after Tracy, Mum and I clung to each other reliving the fear of that night. It's not something you can ever forget.
Use and Restrictions: Approval given. Trim file NTLIb2014/0033-0148
Subject: Cyclone Tracy, 1974
Place: Darwin (N.T.)
Appears in Collections:Territory Times Gone By
Cyclone Tracy

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