Thinking of you and everyone in the path, Snood.
I don't have any personal experience of such storms...they don't affect my part of Australia.
But I do remember the amazement of waking up on Christmas day in 1974 to find that Darwin (the capital of Australia's Northern Territory) had been obliterated overnight by Tropical Cyclone Tracy.
Just like that...gone.
We simply weren't used to damage on such a scale..probably because the North, especially then, was thinly populated.
Because Darwin was a real hippy centre at the time, and I had just moved into a student household, everyone knew people who had been living there...and everyone I knew, practically, had refugees from Darwin staying with them for a while. We had a couple of delightful fellas who had been travelling around, and were staying up there.
It was awful, but the terrible flooding that accompanied Katrina did not occur, and I think the emergency response was better organized.