16 September, 2013

Wet adventures

Plastic gutter-ramps. They're all attached
to each other, but nothing else.
We've been having quite a bit of weather here the last couple of days. We woke to heavy rain yesterday morning. Our first plan always is to ride to church. But on rainy days we usually walk because unless you wear full rain gear it is hard to avoid getting wet while riding and we don't advocate riding holding an umbrella, despite living in a nation of umbrella-holding cyclists!

But yesterday, not too long before we left, David admitted it all might be a bit much for us and that we would move to Plan C; he declared we would take the car.

By the way, this is a dilemma only because the church has no car park and therefore we pay to park nearby if we take the car. Additionally, if the weather is fine, it takes about the same or less time to ride than it does to drive!

Then we discovered that our gutter-ramps had floated away from their designated position in front of the car (I wrote about acquiring them here). These "new" plastic ramps have been very helpful for sweeping the gutter (no more smashed fingers), but they aren't attached to anything, except each other, hence a bit of water flowing can shift them. But as you can see from the photo, there was just a bit more than "a bit of water" yesterday.

This was taken after I removed the gutter-ramps. They'd
floated away and were lodged against that pole.
This water was above my ankle, up to nearly mid calf.
This we discovered as we were about to leave for church, via picking up our youngest who'd been at a sleep-over. I was thankfully in a just-below-the-knee skirt and could easily slip on my rubber thongs (US=flip flops), but I was shocked at how deep the water was. I ended up getting quite wet as it was hard to keep the rain off while bending down to pick up the gutter-ramps with the other hand holding an umbrella. As soon as I pulled them free of the pole, they threatened to float away down the road. Their lightness was something of blessing, though, as I could fairly easily push them in beside the car in the carport.

This is really a drainage problem. We're several metres
above our local river. The water is muddy because
it's flowed off the gravel-sand playground of the kindy,
whose gate you can see in the centre-top of the photo.
It must be noted that David was planning on going out to do this job, but I beat him because we were in a hurry and my skirt (he had long pants on) and easily accessed thongs gave me a speed advantage.

I ended up wearing the rubber thongs to church anyway, because to get into the car, I had to walk through ankle-deep water at the front of the carport. It really was quite a mini flood. However, it had all gone by the time we came home. I walked home with two of our boys
This is one of our local rivers. It is usually much lower
than this, with an extra grassy bank you can stand on
that is obscured by the water.
along one of our local rivers. It was interesting to see it quite swollen, but not endangering anyone's property.

That was all prior to the typhoon that was bearing down upon us. Early afternoon yesterday we were informed that school (and the parent information day) was cancelled for today. So yesterday morning's rain was just a prelude to this morning's typhoon. It hasn't rained as intensely here, though, so there hasn't been any local flooding as far as we know. The wind gusted at times, but it really wasn't a terrible experience at all. We've stayed inside. I baked up a storm, and the boys did various school-related activities this morning (internet based maths and typing) as well as piano practise for our youngest.

Of course it's been much worse in other parts of the nation. This news report tells of more than 1/2 a million people who've were asked to evacuate a long way west of here, many in the Kyoto/Nara area.

We have friends who tried to go camping this long weekend (today is a public holiday), but really it never worked, thankfully they were able to find drier lodging.

By the way, here's a question that bothered me for a time:

What's the difference between cyclones, typhoons, and hurricanes?

And here's the answer:
Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons are all the same weather phenomenon; we just use different names for these storms in different places. In the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, the term “hurricane” is used. The same type of disturbance in the Northwest Pacific is called a “typhoon” and “cyclones” occur in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.

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