I haven´t been blogging much lately due to some personal issues that have arisen in the last two weeks (more on that in a later post.) Tonight, while I still have electricity, I thought I would take a moment to reflect on the past disasters and the one that is occurring in Mexico at this moment – parts of the country are being bombarded by a level 5 Hurricane; Hurricane Patricia.
This will be my fourth hurricane since I moved to Mexico. Here in Monterrey we are surrounded by mountains so it is rare that we get much more than the tail of a Hurricane – the exceptions were Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 and Hurricane Alex in 2010. The latter was a principal character in the novel I wrote ´LOBO´ about a German shepherd dog lost in the streets of Monterrey after the storm (shameless self promotion anyone?)
Right now it is calm in the city with just a light drizzle. That could change at any moment. I don´t expect much from Patricia since it is coming in from the Pacific and will have lost most of its fury by the time it reaches us here in the North-East. Still, I have taken the necessary precautions in case I am mistaken.
When Alex hit in 2010 I was living in a second floor apartment with huge front and back porches. Sadly, the fool who constructed the building didn´t think to build the porch floors with a slight outward angle so I spend three days sweeping rain water in a losing attempt to keep it from seeping under the doors and flooding my home. Really not a tragedy in the greater scheme of things.
The damage Alex did has yet to be repaired – there are still streets that never reopened and probably never will. And now another hurricane is on route to our city. The horrific lack of a decent drainage system means that some neighborhoods will flood. These are the same areas affected every year and nothing is ever done. Of course these are the poor areas of the city so no one in local government could care less.
Monterrey is a desert city. Hard baked soil that barely absorbs the lightest rain. Flash floods are commonplace.
My perspective as an outsider is inevitably considered tainted. The people claim to enjoy a singular solidarity but I only see this phenomenon when there is a crisis. The rest of the time it is a dog-eat-dog life. I guess my socialist political leanings are showing. The people don´t want to do anything to help themselves as a whole if that would mean that the politicians can´t steal from the public coffers as they always have done and especially if it means that taxes would be raised.
I thought of writing something that would capture the fear that many people must be feeling at this moment across the city but I probably used up all my best prose describing the hurricane in my novel. For the moment I leave you with this video. This is what we have in store for us tonight if the worst happens.
For the moment I pray that the storm passes us by or that it is mild. Monterrey cannot afford another tragedy.
On the other hand, I might get another novel out of the deal so …. BRING IT ON! Somehow, Monterry will still be here tomorrow morning. Prayers to those people in the danger zones.
David Gordon Burke
Find my Books here.