Monday, July 31


Tucson's a-drownin'! It's been raining for five days now. The humidity is a-risin' and the temperatures, they are a-plungin'. The main problem with all this rain is that Tucson isn't exactly equipped to handle this kind of weather. By which I meanI woke up this morning to find that my street was a river and the barrel cactuses in my front yard were just about paddling around in the pond that had sprung up off the end of the porch. Now, I'm no biologist, but I know standing water is not a barrel's natural habitat, and I'm reasonably certain there was not a pond in my yard last night.

Along the same lines, the Santa Cruz River is usually a pretty little braided drainage sparkling among the sandbars and burgeoning with birdcalls and whispering grasses. Very non-deluge.

Today the Santa Cruz is a beast. The water is like mud pouring under the bridge from bank to bank, tossing debris around in a manner that would make the Swedish Chef proud, and generally putting on an excellent show of being threatening. So threatening in fact, that, since I was there this morning, they've closed the bridge for fear of structural damage.

I heard a rumour that the water is up to twenty feet deep. I stood on the bank, leaning on one of the guard rails with the other gawkers who'd pulled over to witness (gasp!) water in the river, impressed by the careless enthusiasm with which the river tossed around a toy-like tire up until I noted the large tree trunk coming at it, followed closely by one of those huge green plastic dumpsters they have behind apartment buildings. That just scared me.

It's a veritable fiesta out there along the bridges. Cars stopped anywhere there's a good view of the water. People lined up with cameras and camcorders (I'm not ashamed - I stopped and bought a disposable camera - I done never seen the Santa Cruz flooded like that). Bicyclists pulled over to watch, leaning over the rails. Families huddled together along the banks. I'm guessing there are kids in Tucson who have never seen a river look like that.

What a weirdo day. I was the only one in the office once I tore myself away from the river. Finally, our lab director showed up, and it took the two of us approximately four hours to notice that the phones were down. Then it took another half an hour to find and flip the correct breaker to get them working again so that our bookkeeper could call in and tell us he was trapped out east by a flooded wash that blocked all three of his escape routes to the west.

My boss has gone fishing in Mexico for the week. Turns out he should've just stayed in Tucson.

1 comment:

Wingal said...

So, you have tons of water and we're suffering from scorching temperatures and watching all of our plants die of thirst... what did Michael Stipe say about the "End of the World"? God, I knew he was a genius.