Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Shitstorm After The Storm

Mud.  For cooling the blood and clogging engines.
While half the world is buried under metres of snow, we are suffering from the intolerable heat and the associated tropical storms.  In the last 48 hours, our bairro has been recuperating from a tremendous downfall on Sunday night that turned adjacent streets into waist-high, fast running mud torrents.

Oops; The steps down to the car park
Yesterday, the air was thick with the humming of massive hose trucks pumping water from flooded basements, underground garages and businesses.   Banks and many shops were closed, workers mopping and clearing out sodden furniture and goods.  Car owners hunched over their open bonnets with spanners, trying to figure out how to engineer some life back into the water-logged engines of drowned vehicles.

The hotel around the corner neglected to put up the storm barriers that stop water entering the car-park and in so doing, submerged around 50 cars.  On the muddy pavement outside yesterday, stunned owners watched the water level drop imperceptibly slowly as they spoke to their insurers on their cellphones.  Today their sorry cars were finally dragged out of the mire.

24 hours later, cars emerge
Above us, technicians from the cable companies fixed broken lines.  Beneath the streets, surreptitious electrical fires started, causing a plume of unidentifiable smoke to emerge from a manhole this morning.  Fire engines, fire men and everything, to the joy of Little Bear.

We could revel in all the excitement because we were unaffected by it. Our car was parked a long way away.  Oblivious to the unfolding drama, on Sunday night we were lulled into a delicious unconscious sleep by the falling rain...and dreamed of snow drifts and an improbable white christmas

1 comment:

  1. What a drama - and one that comes as predictably as the rain itself. Our street in Niterói floods every time, although we are high and dry on the third floor, no car. The problem is there is a spillway just a block away and when it floods it dumps the overflowing sewer backup crap (quite literally) into the flooded streets.

    So the days following a torrential downpour are marked by residents hosing down driveways and sidewalks before the stinky mud turns to dust and drifts into our homes on the afternoon wind.