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Friday, March 13, 2020

The Rain Was Severe

It was severe by Egyptian standards - Cairo normally receives less than an inch in a year.  This is the second time this winter for an inch in a day.

Taking the precaution of closing schools and businesses (described a couple of posts down) was well-warranted.  It only rained about an inch and a half (maybe more, I think it is a state secret but reports state, it is the most in a single day since 1994) but with flat land and no storm sewers the water had no place to go.  Stories of damage, death and destruction abound world-wide.  New York Times Story here.  ABC News here.

This was the view from our front balcony looking to the north along the Ring Road this afternoon.  Besides the absence of traffic, the obviously not-well-drained low spots can be seen on both sides.

The red arrow points to a pumping truck draining the water into the canal below.


A drive past a few local business show that they are open but hard to reach with, perhaps, a foot of water on the street.

To conserve sewer capacity, water was cut off to some areas.  This included ours for about 18 hours making "Wuhan Virus" handwashing difficult.  When the water came back, we gathered a plastic tub full in the shower in case of a repeat performance.

On the plus side, the rain cleared the air of the usual pollution and the view from our rear balcony shows off the pyramids in the distance at Abu Sir and Saqqara.

Transportation was pretty much shut down with airports, highways and railroads out of service.
The Railway Authority also suspended train movement nationwide after the collision of two trains in Cairo, which resulted in the injury of 13 people.
One American traveler began his tour at Luxor and headed for the airport there yesterday morning only to find the airport closed.  He went back to town to take the overnight train to Cairo but found the trains not running.  He finally made it to Cairo this evening.

Our friends at Egypt Equine Aid were hit bad.  Consider donating here.

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