Sunday, 9 February 2014

Joburg In A Flash Flood - Be Careful Of What You Wish For.............


.... You might not like it when your wish comes true. Johannesburg was having a heatwave or so everyone was saying or was it just a proper Summer. January is after all the height of Summer and it is meant to be hot; humid sticky and everything else that goes with Summer. OK, I will admit there was something missing... the Highveld afternoon thunderstorms. Everyone was complaining about the heat and no rain. People were wishing for rain, they were hoping for rain, some praying for rain, some even doing the rain dance in the hope for rain. I even had a moment of saying we need some rain this heatwave is not good for the garden. Then the dark clouds that were hovering each afternoon came down lower and lower until they crashed and down came a flood of note.

Misty Rainy Grey Mornings

It started about two weeks ago. On Thursday, the 23 January 2014 to be exact, but that was a very isolated storm. Chad finishes school at ten to three on a Thursday and we won't go down that road of how I feel about school finishing so late. I received a cryptic message from Chad at around 2.25 "Are you at the usual place" {I park around the corner at school - Chad's choice and no congestion} I sent a message back to ask why. It was too early for me to be at the school, although some days I do miscalculate and get there very early. It takes 7 minutes in the afternoon - the mornings are a nightmare - it can take over and hour. Murphy's law, you can sit all morning, no phones and no clients come in, then I get a confusing message from Chad and all the phones ring and people walk in. I still did not understand Chad's message and did not leave straight away. It started to rain, but just a couple of drops and I saw the black rain clouds in the distance and wandered if I should take my umbrella. Chad then sent a message that he was finished school for the day and I rushed off. Not even 500m away it was bucketing down, 2km's away and the roads were flooded. It was crazy, you could not see your hand in front of your face. The roads were rivers!! How the heck did they flood in such a short space of time. I was driving at snail speed, lights on, hazards on. I needed to get hold of Chad to tell him I would be late. School is less than 7 km's away from home and work, but I was crawling along trying to see. I hate phoning whilst I am driving and at the traffic light I fumbled for my phone and called Mark, to tell him to try and get hold of Chad and tell him I am on my way, but am battling in the rain and the roads were like rivers. Mark sounded irritated and uninterested and I thought he was just stressing about cars and the rain. My drive safe app does not work and Chad was sending me texts and I could not reply or call him. I could not search for his number and drive. At least with Mark, his number was the last number dialed and I could just press, whilst driving without taking my eyes off the road - I have a hands free kit that works, just my drive safe app, no longer replies automatically or even read out the messages anymore.

Rain Flooding Down
I finally arrived at his school called him and he rushed out to the car. They were let out early, because the classroom was a cardboard box in the rain - this is a private school - well maybe the exorbitant fees go to educating and not maintenance. We finally understood why we were not understanding the message. It had rained at the school for about 30 minutes, it started before he sent me that message, it was a cloud burst of note and it took me 20 minutes to get to the school so he was collected later than 14h50. Now if school did not finish so late we would not have gone through that hair raising trip. We chugged along home - hazards; lights hoping we could be seen and see. There were broken down cars, rivers for roads and we arrived home. The rain was pelting down at home. I went back to work and the whole time wondering how they all coped in the rain, considering that there is very little under cover work area. We love exactly a minute (my driving) away from work - less than a kilometer and it was bone dry and sunny - not a drop of rain. No one believes me that it was raining so hard. We then had another week of hot hot weather - my rain storm became a distant dream that no one knows about. It happened I promise - ask Chad and the few kids who also have such a horrible roster at school.

Monday 3 Feb 14 Rain
I went to the pharmacy last week on Thursday the 30th and the pharmacist was saying that it was so hot and we need rain. I mentioned the storm the previous week and she looked at me as if I was crazy - now the pharmacy is closer to the school than our house - if you go a different route. We carried on with our day, complaining about the heat and then at around 3am Friday morning, the clouds banged heads and Johannesburg and the surrounding areas were flooded. It rained and rained and rained, throughout the night - drenching rain. Work and rain dies not go down well. We woke up and it was still raining. Chad was not feeling well and I said he could stay home, going to school in that rain would just make him really sick and miss more school. The rain slowed down to a fine drizzle, but it was cold and miserable and grey.

Rain Rain & More Rain

Early hours if Monday morning it started again - hard relentless rain, roads were flooded, rivers had burst their banks, roads were chaotic - hey if you don't believe me check out the News24 Gallery. At least there are pictures this time to prove it happened. Sheila was meant to go to hospital for a check up and called at 5.45 to say she was at the Honeydew Spar as there was a taxi strike and she could not get to work or the hospital - she was stranded in the rain. There was noways I was going to fetch her, I then remembered one of our staff came from that area and asked if he could pick her up, luckily he could, but she had to wait there for another hour. Mark and Chad left home at 6.40 to get Chad to school. Remember school is less than 7 km's away. It took me 5 minutes to get to work :) the traffic was hectic. Chad only arrived at school at 8 am. Mark arrived at work at 8.15. It was not long and Chad sent me a message to say he was sopping wet and freezing cold. The school was flooded and his shoes and socks were wet. Not long after that the school phoned to say Chad was feeling sick and wanted to come home - is that OK with me. Well if he is feeling sick and he is wet and cold then I must come and fetch him - I told the office lady. I am not sitting with a child with pneumonia - and murphey's law again as I am leaving a client comes in who was driving along a road - his normal route to work and saw water in the road and next thing his car came to a stand still door deep in the middle of a river in the road. - NEVER drive through water if you are not sure of the depth. He was OK, but had to be towed in, but again when I had to rush off to fetch Chad I was waylaid.

Pool Almost Flooded
The rain has been relentless, almost every night it has rained hard and during the day drizzle, but it has still been extremely hot. Last night again it rained hard and the pool overflows all the time and the fish pond overflows and is all green and icky. I took these photo below of the pond last Saturday and the pond was full and green before it rained so much and now it is worse.

Fish In A Green Pond

 The only two fish we have left out of 20 we bought six and a half years ago. It is also very rare to see them, they are skittish and scared of whatever predator it was that ate the rest of their family - I do believe it was the Hadedas who frequent our garden in droves, making a noise and a mess.

Fish Trying To Hide Away

So yes - be careful of what you wish for - because it might not be what you want......
I have to post my photo a day picture now and I am not enjoying this month that much. The prompts are difficult and not fun at all - well some are some not and looking at the future prompts and today's I am wondering if this is going to become a chore and not a fun thing to do. I read a blog yesterday and the author said her blog had become a chore so she stopped blogging - I used to read it. It will be a pity if Photo A Day becomes a chore for me, because of the prompts. Last month I really enjoyed it. Chad has had a head cold all weekend - he went to gym on Saturday and his cold only got bad after that - oh he has to go to school tomorrow - he has used up his sick leave for the year according to me. Today he even fell asleep - Chad does not have afternoon naps and the last time he did that was about 6 years ago and before that was when he was at pre-school and had bronchial pneumonia. So if he is feverish and really sick tomorrow he can stay home, but only if. I had an afternoon nap as well nothing unusual, when I woke up my first thoughts were dam - I have to do my photo of the day - that did not sound like fun did it? It was a terrible prompt. Detail - what detail - I just took a photo of the candles Mark had made for me for my birthday - the detail in them is unusual and pretty.

That's all for tonight - and enough too









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