Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Typhoon Effects

Growing up in the Midwest area of the United States, the primary weather hazard I encountered was tornadoes or lightening in the frequent summer thunderstorms. In the winter time along Lake Michigan the wind chill could get dangerous but school never canceled for the snow. Sometimes you were just late if the snow plow didn't get to your street in time.

I can remember winters where the snow and salt mix turned to slush and you couldn't see the lines on the road. It was just a free for all where to drive because the snow was to slushy to keep good you're tracks from the cars as guidance.

While I worked in cruise ships we once sailed through a hurricane. Well, I think we just tossed around and tried to stay afloat right side up. I don't think we were actually making any progress in a certain direction. That was a memorable 12 hours for sure.

Yesterday was my first encounter with a typhoon, or close proximity to one. All night it rained and the wind howled against the house. Then the next morning it kept raining and the wind grew stronger. By mid morning it was starting to rain sideways and the wind was starting to come in gusts. I went to work and from inside the oceanarium over the EXTREMELY loud music during the show, I could hear the wind pounding against the building and the rain pelting the windows.
Bring my usual crazy and adventurous self I couldn't just stay inside and eat lunch at the aquarium cafe. No, I donned my green waterproof hiking jacket, tying the hood tight around my face, and put on my tights and tennis shoes that I'd worn in to work that morning and outside I went to cross the street to a CVS to purchase a cheap lunch.

First I will say I was successful, but it wasn't easy. The wind was so strong that at times it was all I could do just to stay standing, forget walking anywhere. And the wind was blowing the rain sideways so hard that opening your eyes to lol where you were going was painful. The rain stung your eyes as it hit them straight on even with you head down and the jacket hood pulled away to provide a shield.

Everything I was wearing that wasn't under the jacket was literally dripping wet within mere second of stepping outside. It took me a lot longer to walk to and from the store because I kept having to stop and just stand my ground against the wind.

The weather calmed down around 6 and by 7 that evening I walked home in a very light drizzle. As I walked home I was struck by the similarity of the roads to the snow slush where I grew up. The road I walk to get to and from work is straight down a small peninsula so there are beaches close in either side. The typhoon had washed so much sand onto the road that you couldn't see the asphalt. It wad just a slushy mess if wet sand with tire tracks everywhere.

This morning on the way to work the sand was drier and full of potholes and in the streets crew was shoveling the sand into bags and loading them into a truck. I went from a place that shovels snow to one that shovels sand!

Here are pictures from my walk into work this morning. I would have taken a picture yesterday but my phone nor my camera would have survived the elements so I hope my words are enough to depict a mental image for you.