‘Pothole’ in Wellawatta [picture updated, more]
I don’t own an umbrella. Or, more accurately, I own many umbrellas but possess none. Drop my car off at the shop to get the suspension tested. Apparently the back is about to fall off so I leave the car there. Venture my head out and catch a three to office. So all’s well. After work it looks damp but tolerable, so I put my headphones on and hoof it. And then it starts coming down. First a little, then a lot. Then a lot a lot. Duck under an awning to find that it’s only an arch. Fuck. Just wait. It’s not getting any better. Decide to run to the bus stand across the street. Get an ankle deep in puddle and skin deep in rain by the time I get there. Swim to the bus and try not to slip out of the precariously leaning behemoth. This is rainy season in Colombo I guess. The roads flood after an hour and public transit becomes a public pool. The people at the garage laugh at me, but I’m OK with that.
According to the Met department, Colombo got over 12 cm of rain in 24 hours. You could see it coming down in pelts and feel the thunder as if it was directly above. At times the sky continuously shuddered with lightning. Colombo’s drainage system is bad on a good day, but it completely crumpled yesterday. Everything was flooded – parking lots, Lipton Circus, Battaramulla, and I’d imagine a lot of the Havelock/Thumulla area. Those roads take forever to drain and the stench afterwards is awful. The putrid green canals near Kirimandala Mawatha and round Rajagiriya are overflowing, emptying they’re fetid contents into the streets. Also, people here empty sewage directly into storm drains, so when you get an actual storm you get a literal shit storm. Not to mention the disease and Chikkungunia and mosquitoes that will come, oy.
When the roads flood the far lane becomes unusable, so traffic gets severely bottlenecked. Not to mention the roundabouts which become rotating swamps. It can take 30 minutes to move 30 yards, and 2-3 hours to get to work. Cars get moored in the median, forced to settle on the island and repopulate the earth from there. The rain is so heavy that even umbrellas are futile. More seriously, there are huge motherfucking holes in the ground which can swallow you up. The CMC takes manhole covers (as many as there are) off to clear the water or just cause they forgot to replace them. Yesterday a young woman from Save The Children fell deep into a manhole and drowned (Daily Mirror).
The plus side of the rain is that it generates electricity and may stave off power cuts, but alas, it needs to rain somewhere else entirely. This bit is just a wash.