Thursday, December 22, 2011

Watering the garden just in time for the rain

It's been so dry here that a couple of days ago I decided to water the fruit trees in the garden (not for the first time).  Unfortunately we haven't gotten about to getting a garden hose yet so it involved me spending an hour or so lugging buckets of water about the place in 30+ degree heat.  Of course a couple of hours later after dusk the heavens opened and we had torrential rain with spectacular thunder and lightning over the centre of the island (the main road on the Island was closed for a while due to the rain)!

This has reminded me that although it's been very dry and warm since we got here Réunion holds all kinds of rainfall records.  It holds the record for the most rainfall ever recorded in a 12 hour period, in a 24 hour period, in a 72 hour period, in a 96 hour period and in a 10 day period.  This place can be WET.

Fortunately the rainfall is concentrated on the other side of the island (we are in the rain shadow of the volcano) but you can see the effects of such huge amounts of rainfall around the place.  Lots low points on roads have barriers that can be placed across them to close them when they get inundated during storm flooding.  On the main road huge bridges span giant dry river valleys.  Dry open drains at the side of a lot of roads up can be over a meter deep.  All pointing to lots and lots of flowing water.  

Oh and all the windows and doors of houses have shutters to protect during tropical storms!  Apparently this year promises to produce a bumper crop of storms due to predicted high sea temperatures, we'll see if any come this way, there may be exciting times ahead! 


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