Storm Total for TS Ernesto: 7.83 inches
Average Total For August: 5.53 inches
August 2012 To Date: 19.68 inches
Average Annual Total: 50.3 inches
2012 Rainfall to date: 50.22
Those are the stats from Consejo, a small village a few miles north of us where an expat has a weather station. In town, the flooding has been extensive due to poor drainage and many, many low-lying areas. Houses flooded with as much as 4 feet of water, houses on stilts have become isolated islands in their own yards, and animals (yes, that's a horse on the porch) are having to fend as best they can. Shelters have been opened and people are being moved by raft, backhoe, and dump truck to higher ground. Although today is a little brighter, more rain is expected and we're just into the peak of the rainy season that will last through November.
The short "Mauga" season which normally means less rainfall for us in August just didn't happen this year. Fortunately, it's not as bad as down south where rainfall can exceed 180 inches per year as tropical waves hit the steep slopes of the southern mountain range.
Our little house, as most of the houses along the waterfront, sits on a maze of small, mostly-interconnected limestone caverns. These provide for good drainage. On the other hand, they create their own problems as the wet dirt weighs down and causes some of the caverns to collapse. These pits in the roads and yards can be quite deep and hard to fill. When they occur in the roadways, a good Samaritan will take a tree branch of sufficient length and stick it in the hole to warn motorists. Every once in a while a car will fall part way in to mark the spot until a tow can be arranged. Motorcyclists go missing every year and there are reports of kangaroos sightings in some of the deeper holes. As the rains come down from the mountains, low-lying bridges are swamped and travel is restricted. As most of the roads are still just packed dirt paths, 4-wheel drive vehicles with high clearance are the only salvation for some people even just a mile out of town.
There's more weather on the way of course but once we have two days of relatively dry weather, the mosquitoes and flies will be out in force and they'll be very, very hungry. Ah, the cycle of nature.