27 October, 2016

Photos of our city #3

Our street during a flash flood in August.
You might have been concerned after reading my last post about our city. We live very close to a river, actually two rivers run through the city of Higashi Kurume. Tokyo itself is on a flood plain and more than 100 km square of the plain are under sea level. Are we at a flood risk? 

The answer is pretty much no. We get flash floods on our street when rain dumps on us more than 50mm per hour, but they don't last much longer than the extra heavy rain itself and haven't come close to getting into our house.
The water came up over the gutter and into the carport, but not
up the three stairs that lead into the house.
Tokyo has built an incredible underground system of flood control and one of the major pieces of infrastructure is right here in our city. Check out this ABC video (12.37min) for some great footage plus explanations.

In the video at the 7 minute mark it shows a huge "surge tank". We have one of these in our city. But you hardly know it's there, except that there has been construction going on for some years now. We know it's there because we have friends who live just across the river from the entrance to this place and when they'd finished doing the underground construction they invited the locals to go and have a look.

This is all we can see of the underground flood mitigation  infrastructure. But from the photos we've seen (and the video) it sure is much more impressive down there than this photo might suggest. You can see bunches of dead plant material caught at the bottom of the grills, that was from a rain event during the summer when the river got up that high. In the background of the photo is the gym that I go to regularly to work out. This is only about 850m from our house.


Hippomanic Jen said...

That's some serious infrastructure. I guess when you have that much roofed and paved area and the possibility of rain in a short timespan you need to be prepared!

Wendy said...

Agreed! Or shift the capital? It really does seem to be a strange place to have a capital city, but to change it now would probably send the country bankrupt!