Flooded by Southwest Monsoon Rains

I am more wary of typhoons with a lower signal since those usually bring a lot of rains. The higher ones usually meant stronger winds. We live at one of the lower part of the barangay, if not the lowest, and is therefore its catch basin. There have been times when our street gets flooded even if we were only subjected to rain showers (ambon).

It has been raining for a week (there has been a two day respite before the skies let loose.) before arguably the worst flooding we’ve ever experienced since we’ve lived here. My dad and aunt insist the Ondoy flood’s the worst, my sister and neighbors say this one tops it. I’m with my sister because it took days for flood waters to recede this time. But unlike Ondoy which caught everyone off guard, we were better prepared for this one plus we have more hands on deck. My brother, who works in SG, was on vacation with his family and have arrived before lunch, Monday, August 6, at our house. Flood was already above ankle at our street.

The rains continued well into the night. By midnight, we have moved some of our stuff to the second floor and to our house’s extension which has a higher flooring than the main house. Darling Cat was going berserk, climbing all over the place. She’ll serve as our flood warning signal in the future because by 4 AM, Tuesday, August 7, flood water carpeted our floors and was rising fast. We knew then it was going to be another Ondoy. Considering the height of the flood waters that got in at that time, we moved everything that we thought would be soaked, except for the heavier furniture. Thank God for beds with double deck frames and modular shelving. By 9 AM, the first step to the extension was underwater, threatening to get into the extension before noon.

The torrential downpour took a break at around noon, hence I was able to take the photo above. Note the height of the water at the back of the houses. Water that wouldn’t normally be there. Even the grass looked as if they’ve grown a couple feet overnight. Water at the street was chest deep. Our neighbors choose to evacuate at this time. I think some stayed with neighbors who have roomier second floors, at the chapel and at the multipurpose building near the phase III basketball court. (edited: 8/14) I heard someone living near the basketball court had prepared batches of congee for people who were hungry or in need of cheering up.

We saw kids being evacuated aboard inflatable kiddie swimming pools. Then came this rubber boat from the barangay.  They were ferrying people out (No idea where, to the barangay hall perhaps?). Three people were guiding it and were going house to house shouting, “Rescue!” “Rescue!” I know that one of them is a barangay counselor. I’m not sure if the other two are from the barangay as well or are volunteers.

Not long after, the rains began anew and water reached the extension. Our heavy wooden armchairs which normally takes two people to lift, have began floating (Well, heavier objects like boats do float.). We have decided to turn off the main electrical switch for the entire house for fear of fire and getting electrocuted.  The water stopped rising before it reached the first step of our stairs to the second floor.

Wednesday, August 8. Water has began seeping out of the house that after lunch, we began putting things back to their original places and mopping the floors using rain water. We turned on the electricity switch for the extension. No water was coming out of the faucet though and we were about to run out of potable water. We thought the trike of the store which supplies us with drinking water would sure conk out even before they reach us. Street still has hip deep flood.

Thursday, August 9. It rained again at night and the water crept back in, higher than the one that greeted us the previous morning. It sure wasted our mopping efforts. No water from the faucet yet and just our luck that we’ve emptied our gas tank. We could still cook using our electrical stove and we still have 5 gallons of drinking water but PAGASA announced yesterday that it will still rain today when they have announced Tuesday that the rain will stop Thursday. What if  the rains do not stop and we have to turn off the electricity again? So we ventured into waist deep floods to get drinking water and gas. Life was pretty normal a couple of blocks after ours. The only thing that would make you think that calamity has befallen the city was bulk buying of provisions. Overheard one random person lamenting that she only manged to get 1 chicken from the supermarket. No one was panicking yet. We have plenty of food back home as we usually do our grocery shopping the last day of the month and my nephew’s birthday falls on this week. So sad that we were unable to decently celebrate it.

The sun showed itself at past noon. The flood steadily went down and remained at knee level until the time we bade goodbye to my brother and his family. They were moving to my sister-in-law’s family in the metro which was not affected by floods. I took these photos at our rooftop after finally being able to recharge my camera phone. I have been conserving it’s battery since I have misplaced  its charger during the flurry of past days.

Flood at this end’s considerably higher than the rest of the street.

It rained August 10, Friday night and the water rose again. It was gone when we woke up Saturday, August 11. It was a pretty sunny day. (edited 8/14) My dad and brother went to the market expecting bountiful seafood and fish but went back home disappointed. Usually when the fishponds overflow, tilapia, catfish and even shrimps are aplenty. Even kids were catching tilapia in our flooded street Thursday and Friday.

We’ve got water coming out of our faucets by Saturday evening. Yellow colored water that is and only in trickles and at intermittent episodes. The subdivision next to ours is luckier. Water trucks from the water district got to them, I think twice. We heard them Thursday afternoon calling out to residents to bring out their containers. Our neighbor called a water supplier on Friday thrice only to be told that the truck’s on the way. We are the farthermost street in the neighborhood so it would be a miracle if they get to us as we’re not the only ones without water supply. ABSCBN Showbiz News was kind to have retweeted our plight twice (Thank you!). We’ve already alerted the barangay by Thursday and they said they weren’t getting through to the Meycauayan Water District.

I guess if the past week was a dry run for a December 2012 flooding scenario, I’d say we’d barely pass. It helped to have water drums which filled with rainwater coming from our downspout. According to the Ateneo Innovation Center, “rainwater alone is clean enough to be drunk straight.” We weren’t taking chances though. We just used them for baths and and cleaning purposes. We have higher ground to run to and enough food supply (The ones in our emergency stash remained untouched as well.) but we’ve run out of gas and potable water. We know now the areas we need to work on.

(edited 8/14) I would like to thank everyone for their tweets of concern for Meycauayan and other areas affected by the monsoon. It certainly boosted our morale. Thank you also to people who called, a concerned parent who smsed (even if their family themselves got flooded.) and friends of our family who dropped by, checking out how we were.

Thank you for reading. Your questions, reactions, thoughts are most appreciated.

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