Thursday, August 23, 2012

Harbin Flood! (Really Old News)

While Beijing's government scrambles to flood-proof the city after the disastrous July downpours, the International Business Times reports that my soon-to-be neighbor, Shanghai, is even more at risk, since it's coastal and equally unprepared. Nanjing, too, had its own flood problems in 2011 thanks to Typhoon Chanthu.

Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, June 2012.
I'd not want to weather a serious downpour up in my old city, Harbin, either. In June, unusually full underground pipes and a couple hours of afternoon rain gave locals serious gawking material.

People coming home from work got stuck across the street from home for two hours, while cleanup crews removed the branch, stood around, warmly applauded an amphibian vehicle, and finally drove in a cistern-emptying pump.
Aside from two cars and two buses, which may have been mechanically revived, nobody got hurt.

And once the water started going down, the street flood became just any other community occasion, and the street food vendors made bank that night.

One week later, diggers showed up in our apartment complex to dig serious holes and lay cement piping you could drive a food-cart through. Hopefully that fixed it for next time... our road hasn't appeared in the news as having sinkhole issues, but it seems like the feverish subway/bridge construction coupled with the rain and crappy drainage really took its toll this August!

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