Monday, December 20, 2010

Rain Wreaks Havoc

99% of what makes Hawai'i great is the weather.  The average temperature year-round is 82-89 degrees.  It is sunny with a light breeze.  Sure, you'll get the occasional rain shower, but never anything too depressing.  It usually lasts an hour or so and then everyone goes about their business enjoying the sunny skies.  Not this weekend.  I think I've written before that the winter months are Hawaii's rainy season.  All this really means is that instead of 83 and sunny every day, you may see one or two rainy days.  Small price to pay for paradise.  Well, this weekend shit went haywire.  It didn't just rain, it poured.  If you read this Star Advertiser article, you'd think it was doomsday in Hawaii.

Backed up Sewer
Apparently, Hawaiians don't really know what to do in the rain because I had some errands to run yesterday and there was NO ONE around.  It was actually really great.  There were no confused people running into me.  Nobody had trouble figuring out which pedal was the gas and which was the break because there was no one on the road.  I suspect they were all afraid they'd melt.  Fine by me.  I found out another reason people weren't out is that they also might have checked the news.  It was flooding.  A lot.  Roads were closed because they were under water.  Water came up to my tired.  Cars were washed away.  Honolulu is at the base of the mountains so all the water runs downhill.  Anyone who has ever had a house at the base of a hill or mountain knows that when it rains really really hard, you get mudslides and pools of water than form at the bottom.  It wasn't so bad that you couldn't get around, but there was also no real need to wade through everything.  For me, though, it was perfect.  I didn't have to deal with the throngs of idiots that occupy Hawaii's Wal-Mart.

Traffic Caused by a Mudslide
What I thought was particularly crazy was just how unprepared the landscape was for such a beating.  The water just wasn't draining or going anywhere.  The sewers all got backed up so the water just started pooling up in the middle of major roads.  This caused parts of the road to just crumble away.  I've never really seen asphalt just break apart that easily.  All over the island construction crews were working to fix busted roads and clear debris from the streets, and trying to restore power lines that fell.  This morning on my way to work there were still crews working on broken power lines and busted sewers, and it's still a little cloudy, but I think the majority of it is over.

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