Getting the news out
This is what we do ... publish the news. The Sunshine Coast Daily newsroom was on generator power last Thursday night to make sure all the newspapers and on-line services continued to provide information about the storm that swept down coastal Queensland from Cyclone Debbie.
It was a bit like Starship Enterprise ... everything lit up in the building while the areas around were in darkness. The car park nearly empty but there was pizza on the desks and the news team rostered on staggered shifts to provide as much coverage as possible.
Throughout the day and into the night journalists and photographers were out and about , reporting on what was happening as the storm swept through from the north.
Updating information on what was happening in the community, what areas were being hit worst - flooding, power outages, traffic accidents.
All the while sub editors and journalists were providing rolling coverage from the main newsroom at Maroochydore
, feeding it in so it could be sorted and disseminated throughout such a wide network ... one that reaches not just those immediately affected but across the world to those wanting to know what was going on.
A sense or purpose, a sense of camaraderie ... some of us had been here before in the '80s and '90s.
By 10pm the BOM radar was showing the worst of the weather had passed the Sunshine Coast and you realised the region had dodged the bullet. Yet Debbie was still doing damage further south.
Then, when all the pages had been sent to the printers, it was time to head off. The traffic lights out, leaves and branches strewn across the road. The emergency personnel were working through the night to restore power, clear roads, help with flood signs. An eerie feeling driving along near deserted roads but knowing that the storm had passed.
Then next morning to go out and survey the damage ... clear up the yard, the paths and the garden. Then to pick up the paper from the front lawn. A sense of normality was being restored.
So you head back into work, grab a croissant at the local IGA then sit up at your desk with a coffee. It's what we do ... every day.
Our thoughts go out to those who are still recovering, particularly down at Lismore and up at Rockhampton.