Monday, 20 January 2014

Wild Weather in Italy


I'm currently cat and dog sitting for a friend in a small hilltop hamlet and Neil is back in England sorting out problems at the Mill.  No sooner had I dropped him at the airport than the lovely clear winter weather we've been having disappeared and it began to rain.  And rain. I went out to supper at a friend's house on Friday evening and the roads had turned into rivers making driving difficult.  Saturday morning it was still raining in buckets.  But by Saturday afternoon things changed.  The rain - which had been torrential - intensified and soon there was thunder and lightning as well.
Rain you can't see through

 We lost the power around 5.30pm and in the darkness the rain became quite frightening. The sheer intensity of it is something I've never experienced, even in the monsoon rains of Asia and Africa.  It was like a violent thing trying to pound its way through the roof.  When I opened the door you couldn't even see through it with a torch. It rained all night and the thunder and lightning were horrendous.  I had a cat and a dog in bed with me, shivering under the bedclothes, so at least I was warm! According to the Italian news 300mm of rain fell overnight onto ground already saturated and rivers full.

One very scared little dog.
On Sunday morning I got a phone call telling me I should try to get the car out of the village car park because there was a landslide and the road was unsafe.  I went straight away and drove down, expecting just a part of the road to have slid down the hillside, these mountain roads often crumble a bit at the edges in bad weather.  But when I got there I found that a whole section of the road - more than a car length -  had dropped by about a foot and looked as if it was about to slide even further.
The far end of the section

The other end - the drop is about a foot
 'Molto pericoloso', a neighbour told me.  Did I really want to drive over it, he asked?  I didn't, but I also knew I couldn't do without a car for the several weeks it will take to rebuild the road - things don't happen quickly in Italy.  By the time I'd found somewhere to park further down the hill the emergency crews had arrived and closed the road completely, so I got out just in time.  Heaven knows what the villagers are going to do - we're all going to get more exercise - but there are several elderly and disabled people who can't make the steep uphill walk.

It's still raining, but not so heavily now.  And at least we haven't suffered as much as Genoa or southern France.  What they call 'weather bombs' in New Zealand seem to be part of our lives here now too.  Only one thing to do - open the last bottle of the Christmas Prosecco and drink it by candlelight!!


1 comment:

  1. Perhaps you are a kind of weather vane. The Weather God wants to impress you wherever you go. Such interesting pictures.
    Have now posted blog tour Writing Process on Life Twice Tasted. Hope you like it! Thanks for the inspiration. wxx

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