July 17th, 2005


Typhoon Haitang is our first typhoon of the year, and it's looking like it'll be a big one, and it's almost certainly going to hit us head-on. Since I've lived here, our neighborhood has had major flooding twice. About four years back we had flooding over two meters deep outside the house where we used to live. Ours was on the second floor though. But Maggie's shop's basement got flooded and they lost some equipment, the TV, etc. That area is a bit higher, so the ground floor was OK.

We started getting rain for this 颱風 early this afternoon. Maggie was getting nervous, so she decided to go over to her shop to get things ready. As we were leaving, my mother in law came back and said that shops were running out of food, so we went over to the Landis Hotel bakery down at the end of our lane to buy some bread and donuts. Other than that we're pretty well stocked with food.

There was a lull in the rain so getting to Maggie's shop was no problem. Some of her apprentices were there to help, so it was pretty quick work, though things like the 30" TV and a mid-size refrigerator were pretty difficult to get up. By the time we were finished, the rain was pouring down and wind was blowing pretty strong, so it was quite an adventure getting back home. We took a bit of a long way to maximize use of covered walkways. Maggie had a rain jacket and I had an umbrella, but I think I got the raw end of that deal because with the wind blowing, I ended up getting soaked anyways.

On the way home the grocery store and the Blockbuster Video were both packed with people, and the convenience stores were doing pretty brisk business too. The Landis Hotel was putting boards up on their windows. The hotel also had flood gates installed, and the work just finished a bit over a week ago, so good timing. That intersection tends to flood a meter deep or so during a big storm.

Our lane slopes upward, a fact I hadn't really noticed until after the flooding last time. The end down by the hotel was flooded, but our end was just above the flood level. We're on the 5th and 6th floor, but flooding would mean we'd probably lose electrical and phone (and DSL!!) service, and we'd probably have to chip in to pump water out of the basement and probably replace the water pump that pumps city water up to the tanks on the roof. Still, we're just high enough upslope that we'll probably be OK.

Right now we're just getting the edge of the storm. The eye is still several hundred miles offshore. The prediction has the brunt of it hitting us tomorrow, and we'll probably be stuck inside most if not all of the day.