September 30, 2010

Heavy rains in La Ceiba

Photo, about 3:30 pm, September 30

The noise is deafening and really interfering with my Spanish comprehension of the Ecuador news. If you don't know about the Eucador news, I've posted a bunch of articles on Facebook and Twitter. Follow me!

Here is the same shot at 4:00 p.m., 30 minutes after the photo above. The creek is overflowing but it is much below the level of the few houses around here. It is probably more of a danger downstream.

Here is the view about 4:30 p.m. The rain has slowed but not stopped. The grading that they have done for this new road is completely washed away.

Luckily we discovered that our rain drain in front of the garage was stopped up before the garage was completely flooded. (Driveway is on the left of the grate; garage is on the right.) This excellently designed in-ground gutter about 8 inches deep connected to a 4 inch drainage tube has protected our garage from flooding for 8 years. We have to keep a screen over the end of the drainage gutter to keep the tube from clogging up with leaves, dirt, plastic, frogs, birds, and baby chicks. (Yes, I have pulled all of those things out of the gutter.) The water was only about an inch deep, but it had reached about two feet into the garage. If this had been at night and we hadn't noticed, I hate to think what would have happened.

I haven't gone out to check the rain gauge, but peering at it from the terraza, it appears that we have had more than 6 inches, possibly 7 inches, in the past 2-3 hours. There is no doubt that downtown La Ceiba is flooded as it only takes about 20 minutes of heavy rain to do that.

Most ironic of all, we have been ten days (10 DAYS!) without running water. While we have none inside the house, we have more than we need outside. Looking at the bright side, it only takes about 2 minutes to fill a 5-gallon bucket in the rain. That's good for two toilet flushes. ;-)

Update 4:50 p.m.: I spoke too soon. The rain has increased in force again.

Afterthought: Those photos are a perfect example of how the flooding and mudslides are NOT natural disasters, but man-made disasters. There is no flooding or mudslides in my yard or any place else I can see from the dryness of my house. Why? Because they haven't been cleared by man
of all grass and trees and all the natural protection from flooding. The area in these photos had been cleared for a new road, but are a good example of what is seen in the mountains and elsewhere in Honduras.

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