Thursday, September 07, 2017

"the airport is closed"

The email caught my attention.

But it did not surprise me. Our international airport is built right on the beach at the very end of a flood plain that is part of our fabled sea of coconuts. Plantations of coconits that extend to the horizon.

Whenever we get heavy rains (and we are getting heavy rains), the rivers do a yeoman job in pushing a lot of water out to sea. But any storm can overwhelm the rivers -- turning their banks into invisible lines under widening fans of flood water. Just ask Houston.

The largest river in this area is the Marabasco, which forms the border between the Mexican states of Jalisco and Colima. I live in Jalisco. The airport is in Colima.

Whenever the Marabasco floods, it starts spreading south across the sea of coconuts. And that is where the road is that leads from the main highway to the airport. You can see where this is going.

The rainstorm that hit our area after hurricane Patricia passed by two years ago covered the airport road making it impassible for a couple of days. When the floods receded, the road was still impassible. In two areas, the flow was so strong, it had gouged out two wide swaths of road. The road opened only when temporary military-style bridges were installed.

I am scheduled to fly out of the airport on Saturday to head north for my 50th high school reunion. So, I had a vested interest in discovereong whether the road was still closed. And I confess, the fact that the trip would yield blog fodder was lurking in the recesses of my ego.

When I made the turn onto the airport access road, it was easy to see why the road had been closed. There was standing water on both sides. I counted five spots where water had run across the roadway.

The culverts under the two spots that washed out two years ago were filled with fast-flowing water. Fast enough that they looked like small rivers. All of that water was flooding the surrounding coconut plantations.

But the airport was open. Or so it seemed. With the taxis missing and the parking lot looking like a scene from On the Beach, it could easily have been closed. The place was as deserted as I have seen it. I must have arrived when no flights were expected.

So, I am going to assume I will be flying to Oregon this Saturday for a week of reminiscing and telling lies with my high school chums.

That is, unless we get more rain. Hard rain.

Unfortunately, more storms are on the way. 

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