It has not really rained here in about a year. Maybe a total of ½ inch over the past 365 days. It is as dry as can be, every day, with tiny “wannabe” dust storms popping up frequently. About a week or so ago, on a Tuesday morning around 10:00 am a severe storm began. It had been sunny and about 80 degrees so far that morning. Now, all of a sudden our little village was the focus of a years’ long pent up weather anger. I was at work as usual, working frantically on the upcoming National World AIDS Day festival where I have the responsibility for the design of the Billboards, Posters, Calendars, Programs, Press Conference Invitations and a whole bunch of other publicity materials. It was already a high pressure morning when the power went out and the winds became a concern as the pelting rain turned to marble size hail. We all watched tree after tree being blown down or uprooted in our office courtyard as what must have been 80 or 100 mph winds blew the huge hail sideways and even upward. I was very concerned about the windows blowing in and advised everyone to stay away from them, but even I could not resist the need to observe the most severe storm I had ever been in the middle of.
The hail continued to accumulate all over the ground as the entire brown sandy/rocky ground became white. As the accumulated hail melted it became what looked just like hard packed snow for just a brief 10 minutes or so before the storm ended.
The whole thing lasted only about 30 minutes and before an hour the sun was shining again and it was back to 80 degrees.
The only real difference now was that several buildings were missing their roofs, many giant trees had been uprooted and the roads were covered with hundreds of grapefruit size rocks that had been washed on to them by an ocean of flash flood waters, completely bringing traffic to a 5 mph crawl for the rest of the day. Power in most of the village was out for at least 3 days.
Fortunately, the roads were cleared in one day, and the roofs and smashed structures that were impeding daily work were being attended to.
It’s not New York by a long stretch, but it sure caused some fun conversations here!
Here are some pictures taken during the storm that I am sorry wont do the story justice.