Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monsoon season

Every heat wave eventually climaxes, and this one did with a bang! The Storm took the whole day to gather around, and crawled across the country Eastward from the West....  The thunder came as a warning from the skies, long before the storm got to Vilnius.

At about 9 p.m. the clouds covered the Western horizon, immediately the wind cut through the air, so moveless and moist just a moment ago. And then came the rain, fresh smell of Ozone - and the endless flashing of lightning, followed by a loud roll of thunder right over our heads.

I seemed to remember how violent the thunderstorms used to be here. But I have forgotten the sensations....  The storm was a great refresher for my memory - in my childhood I always thought they were very romantic; and the world wakes up cleansed after they're over....

Vilnius is an old city, with old drainage systems, and this storm brought so much water down, it was all too much for the good ol' pipes and tunnels to handle.

Immediately, the street my mother lives on, flooded. The water kept coming down, till the road, curbs, lawn and, finally, cars parked alongside the curbs, were nearly engulfed by the turbulent, violent stream, rushing into the lowest dip of the street, turning in a whirlpool and rushing back out.

Where four minutes ago there was a street, now was a river...
The most amazing thing I found, was that some drivers, caught in this sudden rise of a flood, still decided to take a shot at driving through it. Moments later, they joined, what looked like a "Saturday Night 'Push Your Dead Car Home'" party... no pun intended...

The luckier ones continued on lighter flooded sidewalks, lawns, or just turned around, while they still could.

Since I have never seen my Hometown turn into Venice of the North, I decided to capture this amazingly unfortunate event on camera, so, thanks to my mom and her arsenal of old shoes, I spend good thirty minutes wading in the flood thighs deep (I still offered help to push people's cars out of the water... and decided, if I end up renting a car, to never park on my mother's street again..)

I doo feel for the owners of these cars - but the evening was quite the sight, and as the rain eased, many onlookers wondered outside or peered out their windows at the spectacle, the kids came by to explore the warm water. Not even three hours later the water drained, and if not for the sand, washed up onto the curbs, you would not even know that something this extraordinary had happened.
BTW - the air here is heating up back to 30s again... We might see the cycle repeat itself...
I am so blessed!

1 comment:

  1. There will be video on this fun night, which I am planning to publish as soon as I return to BC.
    And Gerry Gail - you gave me an Idea about a bag collection, based on this experience... I am thinking... Brown, Frilly, Wavy and Knotted...