Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Surprise Tropical Downpour

In the morning I took some photos of the patio.  The new desert roses caught my eye.

I photographed the growth of the succulent garden. It is coming along nicely, no?  This garden is roofed and has a reasonably clean YELLOW pasta tile floor.

Today started off like any Mérida day with  a bright blue sky in the morning. I was in the mood to photograph flowers in the gardens and cats and stuff.  In the early afternoon I noticed some stormy clouds in the distance as I was hanging laundry upstairs, but they seemed far away.  When I saw the clouds getting heavier and heading our way I managed to get all the dried clothes safely inside and filed away. 

Our tenant Nacho and a few of his friends were hanging out in the pool with the stereo blaring from the bodega's open windows when the rains came.  I got out to the bodega to bring in the speakers but it was too late, they were dripping wet as well as the cds below. I purposely went out and stood in the rain, but that is another story about a promise I made to myself.  I will blog about it one of these days. Anyhow, the group partied in the covered patio area behind the pool until it became unbearable.   The winds were crazy and blew the sheets of rain in every direction.  There was no escaping WET with this storm. 

It clouded up quickly.  The rain started innocently enough, but then the sky broke loose.  It was the strongest rain I have experienced here since my arrival in 2007.  As a weather freak, I got excited and flew upstairs with the camera to see if I could capture the sheets of rain as they fell, with the pool overflowing and the patio filling up like a lagoon.  I did get a few good photos. 

Rain fell in sheets, it rained so hard and so fast and SO MUCH! It-s amazing to watch. I ran around the house and closed the necessary doors.  Today it was ALL THE DOORS.  I even remembered the side door in our bedroom and the wide open window.  And I kept on shooting pictures.

In my excitement of trying to capture the feeling of a tropical downpour on video and in photos, I failed to notice that the patio had flooded higher than ever before.  The kitchen was a lake with the water flowing in under and around the sides of the big iron doors.  We swept most of it back outside and sandbagged the doors with beach towels.  Water was gushing into my bedroom also.  Weasel was sitting on a cushion that was completely soaked, and the water was heading toward the new bed cushion that is on the floor, awaiting its new base....so down went the last of the bath towels and even newspapers to soak up the water.  Water was insistent upon entering the house today.  I imagine I am not the only one who feels this way right now.

A downpour from 2008 looked like a light rain compared to today..I am used to seeing our street flood up to the sidewalk.  There have been some rains that sent little waves into this area, but nothing like this.  I can hear myself telling someone,"OH NO, water doesn-t ever come into the house, the gate blocks most of it and just a few little waves come in. The kitchen is set so far back from the street......"   Yeah, right.

Then we made a big mistake.  Since the pool party was moved inside one of the guys decided to trudge through a foot of water in the street to the beer store. A storm called for more beer.  The mistake was opening the FLOOD GATES.  When we opened that front gate, of course everyone went outside in awe of the high water, cars stalling, guys pushing their motorcycles and bikes, and the waves lapping up against my neighbors' houses.  My friends on the corner endure the joining of the 66th St River with the 75th St River, causing the confused water to pound against their house.  They have some necessarily elaborate rubber rain retainers, and I was wondering if those worked today. 

Opening the gate allowed much more water from the street in, and the already flooded parking area and garden experienced a little tsunami.  For the first time, water rushed into the front living rooms.  The door has a rubber strip on the bottom, but the door was wide open.  Out came the mops and the squeegies and more clean up began. 
After the worst of the rain stopped, the carport looked like this:
The water is subsiding but look at the dirt it left behind. Flood water is ugly, dirty, disgusting stuff.

75th Street River

I liked the effects in this photo and decided to share. The reflections of the holes in the water inside the patio.  The distinct water line where the floor is dry.

After a good hour or more of serious downpour, a softer rain continued for several hours.  The water slowly receded leaving behind just the dirt and trash the flood water carried in.  I walk with slow calculated steps so as to not slip in the remaining puddles.  It was an exciting first storm of the season and I just had to post it.  I hope that it is somewhat coherent since I am writing in the middle of the night.

1 comment:

Theresa in Mèrida said...

Speaking for your "friends at the River crossroads" LOL. We got lots and lots of water during the storm. It actually came in the gate on C66, where it never comes in! I spent Tuesday making sandbag snakes, but of course they weren't needed. We have never had this much water, not even before they put in the storm drains!
All I can say is thank goodness for shop vacs!