People in Melbourne line up for supplies before the curfew comes into effect (Image: AAP/Erik Anderson)

The last time your correspondent was in the path of a hurricane was in 2008, in Corpus Christi, Texas, where Ike was barreling through. It was aimed at Galveston, but they wouldn't let us in, and so Corpus Christi was closest, the body of Christ spread along the coast, ready to suffer afresh.

There, as the storm approached, and avenues of tall palms lashed from side to side, I watched as people started to make preparations; shopkeepers dragged stuff inside and teams of people put down sandbags and boarded up windows.

I have never seen so many people move so fast, so collectively. It was like a movie sped up. Everyone moved with such focus.