Southern CA is preparing for the upcoming deluge of rain that has been forecasted. This part of the country is so different from my native Texas when it comes to precipitation. Here, the mention of rain always includes a second mention of mudslides. This is not something that gets talked about much in North Central Texas where I hail from. Tornadoes, yes. Flooding, yes. Mudslides, no. This probably has something to do with the relatively flat terrain in that area of the country.
Here, however, people are stocking up (and stacking up) sand bags in anticipation of flooding and mudslides. These slides are partly due to the wildfires that are common here, as well. When a hillside burns, there’s not much holding all the dirt in place. Once rain comes, however rare that might be, then all the weight of that wet dirt starts sliding down the slope and the next thing you know a house or series of houses is knee-deep in muck and mire. Or, often, those slides occur on the slopes that rise up from roadways and mud and rocks slide right into the lanes, blocking traffic. This is never good here in LA, the land of the car. So, despite the excitement over the possibility of rain, there’s also the collected dread that with that rain will come calamities of various types.
While Texas is known for tornadoes, at least most of the time, rain can be enjoyed without worrying about some Category 4 funnel cloud coming to suck your house up off its foundation. Rain often is soothing, cleansing and comforting, just as it should be. Here, on the other hand, rain always brings these other concerns in addition to traffic delays and more auto accidents. There is more anxiety attached to rain here than in Texas, and I must say this takes a bit of joy out of the experience. Just a bit, however; it’s still wonderful to hear the pitter-patter of raindrops, no matter what the chances of a mudslide actually are.
So, tonight the weatherman will be beside himself with joy that he has an actual weather event to report on. You can’t blame him for his enthusiasm. After all, how would you feel saying night after night, “Looking forward to another day tomorrow of 75 degrees?”
Whatever the case, I am excited, too, about the rain. I’m sorry people will suffer because of the slides and the traffic, but our lawns, gardens, and fields desperately need this water. The majority of the population needs it, too. Not so much to drink, but rather to enjoy.
Still, I can guarantee that it will be “Storm Watch, 2014” on all the news channels, and the reporters will be wearing yellow slickers and boots even if we get a scant 1/2 inch of rain.
That’s part of being here, joining with everyone else in the celebration of an event that will bring some pain for some of the population. Despite that truth, we are all in wild anticipation of this storm. The fireplace is ready for a fire and we are all ready for those heavy showers the weatherman is promising.
Tomorrow! We will wait, watch and see if it really does rain.