Having lived in England for a really long time, I did not think that the weather would be such a major topic in the US. That is until I moved to the Washington DC area. Weather and how it affects life is very much the stuff of daily drama in and around the nation’s capital. In the few weeks that I have moved back to that area, we have had four violent thunderstorms or heavy downpours of rain. The latest was this morning, foretold a few days ago, but not arriving till the wee hours. I could hear the heavy thud of rain drops and the sound of water rushing by my house into a gully. The run off of water looked like a raging stream when I took a look at it around 7am, so I had no doubts that this was seriously bad weather for today.
Within hours, the radio was full of stories of flooded roads snarling up the morning commute. It also included tales of insane or careless behaviour by those who do not seem to understand the dangers of water and roads and motorized vehicles. Driving through deep water should be a no-no, so why was I not surprised to hear of vehicles needing to be rescued after driving through high standing water on various roads? Is it that people really think that a car is THE invincible being?
But, the dampness also seems to gum up the thinking faculties in other ways. I saw at least three sets of emergency vehicles headed toward some incident. I also saw as many incidents heading toward emergency vehicles. How else could I describe the driver who, seeing the fire tender heading toward the cross-road, decided that he should stay with his green light and try to cross its path and turn? He really thought that the fire tender would be tender? His rear bumper nearly got caught on fire. What for?
I have already touched on the saga that is running on about how well PEPCO deals with power outages, and that drama wont end in a hurry. Hearings into that issue are underway, and the newspaper columns and local commentaries on the Internet are full of visceral comments about the company, but also about the indifference of residents to things that worsen matters.
The searing heat of July carried on into August, and the rains have given a nice respite by cooling off the air. It’s strange though how the weather is so variable; bright sunshine one day, grey, gloomy skies the next. I guess that with many in the area still on vacation, the weather can also play around as it wishes.