August 21, 2007

Hurricane Dean damage....Not!

La Ceiba after a rainstorm.
Photos: La Prensa, Honduras

These are some street scenes from La Ceiba, Honduras, yesterday. Now before you start thinking that we were hit by Hurricane Dean, let me assure you that we had no more than an hour of heavy rain. Rain no heavier than we get a zillion times per year.

In one nice neighborhood, Colonia Toronjal, some of the streets get the water knee-high after every rain, hip-high after a really good rainstorm. We almost bought a house there but told the seller we wanted to see the house during a good rainstorm. Best decision we ever made!

Anyway, what you see in these photos has nothing to do with Hurricane Dean. The problem is this:

The storm drain lines are clogged with trash, especially plastic bags and liter plastic Coke bottles. So the sewers fill up with water that has nowhere to go and then they spit it back out again.

The drains have been like this as long as I've been in La Ceiba and I'm sure many years before that. Every time it rains, people complain but continue to throw their trash wherever. The municipalidad (municipal government) promises to clean out the lines every now and then, but mostly it's just lip service and pointing fingers.

I took this photo in the Zona Viva, the tourist restaurant/ nightclub/bar/ prostitute area, last September after another hour's rain. We saw whitecaps in the street that night!
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