Monday, December 3, 2007

Blame It On The Rain

Today, we were served with a reminder that it only rarely ever really rains in Seattle. Typically, what the locals normally describe as rain is, to an out-of-towner, simply a lingering drizzle. Which is why people in Seattle are dying for bit of sunshine in place that gets less annual rainfall than, say, New York City.

But today, it rained. For real. And half the Puget Sound region is flooded out. Entire apartment complexes in low-lying areas are dealing with feet of standing water. And because of the haphazard (at best) planning that went into the region's explosive growth, two or three flooded intersections can result in detours 10 miles, and a couple hours, long.

I always find it odd how little water it really takes to bring this place to a standstill. Despite the fact that we allegedly live in a temperate rain forest, this area is very water intolerant, and when more than an inch or two falls in a short span of time, everything goes crazy. And there seems to be little, if any, real official response to the changing conditions. Despite the fact that roads were closed all over the place, you couldn't find a police officer, or anyone else who could tell you what was going on, or which roads were still open. Traffic reports on the radio weren't much help, either. This general lack of preparation seems to be common in these sorts of situations, and consistently makes matters worse, as you wind up with people wandering around, not knowing where they should be attempting to go. This situation needs to change, so that people can make better judgments as to what they should be doing, and avoid making themselves into part of the problem.


Dawn Coyote said...
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Dawn Coyote said...

Vancouver doesn't have that problem. We do fine in the rain. Sometimes it seems like the city lives half-submerged.

The downtown core is an esthetically perfect counterpoint to the frequent cloudcover. The buildings are mostly off-white with pale green mirrored glass. The effect is one of captured light, so that the city seems to glow like a cluster of tall crystals under a dark sky.