‘Alien’ landscape greets couple on return but evidence of life still remains
LEAH and Ken ChynowethTidy arrived home at 2pm on Tuesday, roughly the same time they were forced out nine days before.
Ms Chynoweth-Tidy said a thunderstorm was a strange and “quite scary” way to be welcomed back to Deepwater, as was the charred and “alien” landscape outside their house.
“It was remarkable, we turned back up and the house was exactly the same as we left it nine days ago, but the surrounding bush is ... just gone,” Mr Chynoweth-Tidy said.
“It’s very strange to be sitting in normality in one sense and looking out over something (like that).
“But we are incredibly blessed, incredibly fortunate and there are many who are worse off than us.” The couple were glad to see their nine chickens, rooster and four ducks unharmed despite remaining home in the fires.
Ms Chynoweth-Tidy thanked council workers who provided the animals sustenance during their absence.
“They’re a little bit edgy, they’re not as settled as they normally are, I think they’re sort of keeping an eye out just in case another fire comes through,” Ms Chynoweth-Tidy said.
“I have no idea what they would have gone through the other night, but they’re all fine and still laying eggs.”
“Being evacuated and out of the place for nine days is difficult, when you’ve got livestock that you’ve left in there as well
you just worry about everything.”
She said she and her husband wanted to arrive home before the storm on Tuesday to block their water tanks and prevent contamination, an issue faced by many in their situation.
“It’s very smoky, there’s black ash on everything,” she said.
“There was fallen trees in the driveway which we had to clear ... That would been one of the dangers the fire people would also face, not just the fires themselves but huge tress, I'm talking enormous, falling.”
She said despite the small hurdles, she and her husband felt “well looked after” compared to a small number of residents who lost their homes.
“Just the luck of the draw sometimes, the weather conditions, whether the firepeople are there at the time ... but in amongst all of that disaster and destruction there’s all this evidence of life.
“I've got tomatoes still growing on some of my bushes ... There’s still things that carry on and still grow and still breathe.”
BACK HOME: Leah and Ken Chynoweth-Tidy were relieved to be home.