Cyclone Seroja two years on: Hannah Cross recalls the moment she realised her family had nothing left

Jamie ThannooGeraldton Guardian
Hannah Cross with children Cooper, Corbin and Cole.
Camera IconHannah Cross with children Cooper, Corbin and Cole. Credit: Supplied

I was pregnant at the time and had two children: one was three and one was five or six.

It was quite hot and humid but we thought it wasn’t that bad. Leading up to it, even an hour before, it felt like maybe it wasn’t going to come.

We were getting ready when suddenly the power went out and then we realised it really was coming.

We pulled up mattresses and covers and hid in our makeshift shelter with two children and three adults. The ceiling of the room we had just moved from caved in.

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We were freaking out and just tried staying connected with family out of town.

I remember thinking the roof was about to fall. I had to get on all fours and cover the children.

It caved in with a loud woof and bang. Debris dropped down and mice in the roof fell around us.

It took a few hours. I remember our youngest one thinking there were army tanks outside trying to blow us up.

Damage to the Cross’ home.
Camera IconDamage to the Cross’ home. Credit: Supplied

That night we left, even though we were told not to. We just couldn’t stay there with the kids.

We drove past fallen trees, power lines and fences covering the roads, all to get to my parents’ house, to put my kids to bed, cuddle them and tell them everything was alright.

When we got back the next day, we realised we had nothing left.

Our stuff for the new baby was gone; our photos, keepsakes and memorabilia too. To this day I go to grab something and I realise I don’t have it anymore.

Some days the kids say they miss the old house. Our oldest one still gets quite anxious during a storm. We don’t like crazy weather anymore.

We bought land to build a new home but it’s impossible to build here. We didn’t realise that at the time. We don’t seem to get a break.

I do have to thank the community and the Seroja team for helping us. Everyone has really looked out for each other.

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