Friday, February 05, 2010

Flooding near here, please pray

It rarely rains in central Mexico in February. We are in the "dry" season. Sure, every now and again between October and April a storm will move through. But for the past 4 days, beginning this past Monday through Thursday, it hardly stopped raining.

Mexico City's drainage and sewer systems are horridly outdated. The city still uses a series of interlocking canals that date back to Aztec days. Not too long ago, it was all gravity driven. Now, 12+ pumping stations keep the water...and almost anything you can imagine that might be in the water...moving out of the city to a huge, car-invested lake in the state of Hidalgo.

Anytime and every time it rains, commuters know to expect problems. But nothing could prepare motorists for this morning.

There is a prolonged section of a river/drainage canal that is actually quite a bit above the residential areas of the Valley of Chalco, a densely populated area right next to Ixtapaluca, where we live. The river also runs right next to the largest highway that runs southeast out of Mexico City, towards Puebla. Our neighborhood is actually situated between this highway and the only other alternative to get to Puebla, a two-way, beautiful, curvy road that runs through the mountains on the way to Rio Frio, where it meets up with the much more modern highway again.

This morning, probably about 3 miles from where we live, the earth wall/river bank that kept the River La Compañia on the straight and narrow burst, instantly flooding the Mexico City-Puebla highway and blocks and blocks of homes and businesses in the low lying areas near the highway.

Mayra and I, along with friend Tania, drove our car as far as we could on the closed highway, then walked the rest of the way. What we saw was apocalyptic. Tractor trailer trucks, buses and cars, wrecked and some obviously burned, in 6 ft. of water. In two cases, the rush of water caused accidents, resulting in huge explosions. We saw two totally destroyed semis. The water was, in some cases, over the roofs of some cars. A police pick-up truck, who was responding to the accidents, was itself engulfed in the raging waters.

What are we doing? Well, at this point we're organizing the church and the kid's school, with plans to begin to deliver relief supplies, diapers, water, food, clothing, etc... to families in this area. We have made contact with one family, and may start there. We'll also attempt to locate a Christian church in that area, and perhaps support that way. Still not sure. What we do know is that we want to do something, and soon. If you want to help, let me know.

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