Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rain, hail and flooding in Cairo

I was shocked to see not only rain in Cairo today, and torrential rains at that, but also hail for a few minutes!
I took the top photo on the left when the hail started.  The hail stones were small pellets, as seen in my hand above.  Cameron was glad he'd packed his raincoat.  He put it on and went out to play in the puddles.  

I wondered why Cameron was pointing at the puddle, then I realized when I saw the photo below that he was probably having fun watching his reflection. 
The rain only last 15-20 minutes, but it created inches of water in the road in some places.

We stopped at the grocery store on the way home, then heard a chorus of birds in the trees as we were leaving.  

We saw a sunset as we were walking.
Puddles, puddles and more puddles.
Just a few blocks from our house, the water was so deep that we weren't able to turn down our road (14th Street).  We walked halfway down the block past our turn, then crossed the main road and did a U-turn to come back to 14th Street.  

Watching the rainstorm, and getting home after it was over, was interesting for us.  I commented to Cameron that living in Cairo was an adventure.  Cameron said, "Yup, Cairo sure is unpredictable!"

Unfortunately, torrential rains and hail have actually been very serious for Cairo in the past.  Just this month torrential rains south of Cairo were reported to have swept a bus off a highway into a ditch, killing 15 people.  An ambulance driver who was part of the rescue team that saved 20 schoolgirls who had been trapped on the bus ended up drowning in the ditch filled with water.

I read that in February 2010, there was a hail storm that resulted in 4 deaths and 50 people injured in Cairo, I assume mainly from traffic accidents resulting from the storm.

But for us personally, there is no cause for alarm.  The water subsides quickly from the streets in our neighborhood and since we walk all the time and don't own a car here, we're not affected much by driving conditions.

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