Friday, September 13, 2019

The Typhoons

Funny story. When I first went back to Seattle for the summer, I was a little salty about Shenyang because when I left, the weather had been so extreme, alternating between thunderstorms (which I didn't mind in the slightest) and sandstorms. Having said all that, I was fully expecting to get back to a boiling hot but calm Shenyang in August. 

Oh wow, was I wrong. 

Two giant typhoons, Lekima and Krosa, were cruising north up the coast of Asia in early August. We didn't get slammed by the wind (probably the only time I will ever say that about Shenyang), but wow, oh, wow did we get the rain. Essentially, we got all the moisture that got kicked out of the storm by the winds. 

The rain from Lekima first hit on Saturday, August 10. I remember this very well, because I was on my way to visit Maggie, my friend who owns the tea shop. When I got into the DiDi (Chinese Uber), the sky was ominously dark but the roads were completely dry. About ten minutes in, a wall of rain hit. In the space of half an hour, it went from bone dry to water up to my knees. Fortunately, that cleared up quickly enough and let me get home, but it still took half an hour to get a DiDi home. 

We had threatening, rainy weather for that week (so bad that they pushed the start of school back another day), but that was probably the worst of Lekima. 

Krosa was worse. 

On Friday, August 16, I was planning to go to French Corner, a place where we could practice speaking French, after the first day of school. First, I went back home to change out of my work shoes and get dinner. I went to my favorite Chinese place in my apartment complex, and right when I was about to get the bill, the rain hit again.

Same story - less than one hour, the rain went up to my knees. 

This happened in about half an hour.

This, however, was considerably worse because the rain did not stop. It being a Friday night, and Shenyang being a city that loves to have fun, everyone and their cousin was out doing something. Then the rain came, and the streets absolutely flooded. Half of the teachers were still at school, meeting with friends, or out getting pampered, and they were stuck. People sat in cars for something like five hours just trying to get home. I was probably the luckiest of the ones that went out. 

That video is only my video, but it was far from the craziest one I've seen. The worst one was a video of water - rain water - washing over the hoods of cars. (But that was taken by my friend, and it's not really a good idea to share videos that aren't yours.)

You know the funniest part of all of this? I've lived in Seattle my whole life, except for college and China. Seattle is famous for raining all the time. And yet, I have never seen a flood before. (I was even caught in a typhoon before, but never a flood!)

Well, now I have. 

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