Tropical Storm Survival

Trip Start Jun 19, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Taiwan  ,
Saturday, July 19, 2008

As many of you know, a recent tropical storm (Tropical Storm Kalmegi) hit our island recently and has caused a lot of damage (read about it here).  I thank many of you for emailing and asking about my safety.  God has been watching over us because no one within our teaching family was severely affected by this natural disaster.

I woke up on late Thursday night/early Friday morning to the sound of strong raindrops and even stronger winds.  It was rather unexpected because I had not heard that a storm was about to hit our island.  However, instead of getting up and looking at the situation I was going to have to scoot to work in, I just lied in bed and listened to the raindrops; patiently waiting for my alarm to go off.

I woke up at 6:30 and started getting ready to shower when Joe, one my roommates, entered the apartment all bent out of shape.  He had left for school early in hopes of getting some work done before the day began.  However, he came in and stated, "There is no way I am going to school today.  The water out there in the streets is up to my ankles.  I took three different routes to school and all of them are flooded out."

He was obviously rather upset to the point that he called our administrator and told her about the problem.  She stated that there was no governmental closings that had been issued and that school was on as scheduled.  She suggested we find a cab and get a ride to school that way.  However, there were no cabs in the streets.

We received another call about ten minutes later from the administrator saying that the government had just closed all public buildings and has told everyone to stay at home and avoid going outside.  Therefore, we were experiencing a "typhoon day."  School would be cancelled until Monday.

The rain continued to pelt our apartment until about 2 or 3 in the afternoon.  When all was said and done, our city received about 30-40 inches of rain.  Some streets were flooded and power was out in some areas, but for the most part, by 5pm you never would have suspected that we were just hit by a tropical storm.  Everything returned to business as usual.

What is very surprising to hear is that our city was one of the hardest hit, and that this storm resulted in almost 20 deaths.  It is the closest I have come, or hope to come to a hurricane.  It was definitely a pretty scary experience.

I always yell at the television when weather reporters are standing in the middle of a hurricane.  However, I couldn't resist the urge to stick my camera out of my balcony and video tape the sounds that Kalmegi was bringing to our 19th floor apartment.  It's an anti-climactic video, but check it out if you would like.  Again, thanks for all of the thoughts and prayers, but things are back to normal here in Taiwan.
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