Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fighting dirty

We're in the middle of a solid week of rain.

The infrastructure here is pretty creaky, meaning the city can't handle the downpours.

At the beginning of the week, there was a blackout that missed me by a few blocks and lasted 24 hours. People were in the streets banging pots and pans and burning tires. Until it started to pour again. Then they all went back inside.

Hey, they're pissed, but they're not crazy.

Even when the power stays on, the flooding is ridiculous. The drainage system is just not up to the amount of rain.

A few years ago, the city had to chain the grates to the storm drains because scrap metal haulers were helping themselves to the valuable iron grates. Without the grates, the drains got clogged easily. That problem is more or less solved.

But there is another problem: Trash left in the street is being swept up by the currents of rainwater and deposited onto the grates in massive quantities. The drains are blocked, water builds up, and very quickly streets are impassable.

With the amount of trash in the streets here, it's certainly easy to see how this could happen on its own.

But now the city government has come out and accused its political opponents of trying to make the mayor look bad by sending groups of thugs to break open trash bags and pile the garbage on the storm drains.

Totally laughable, right? Yes. And entirely possible.


Anonymous said...

Doug & I, more than any of your other readers, can presonally attest to how crazy the flooding can be in BsAs.

Case in point - one evening in March 2005 the three of us went out to dinner in Las Canitas. It started pouring down rain and the water gradually start seeping in. Ar first we thought nothing of it. But within minutes the water had accumulated so quickly - and the workers had garbage bags around their feet/legs, sweeping the water out the front door with brooms! We literally had to move to higher ground in the restaurant to finish our meal. And a not-so-yummy meal, at that.

Aaah, but the view was beautiful - garbage wizzing by atop the flooded waters. A sight most certainly to be remembered!

Doug said...

I recently tried to by my wife some ivory earrings. I was rebuffed for being insensitive to the elephants.

I tried to get back on her good side by buying her some diamond earrings. I got a lecture about the opression the diamond trade causes.

Hoping to redeem myself, I purchased a nice metal necklace which I thought would be non-controversial. I was scolded when I found out it was made of stolen metal from a storm drain in Buenos Aires.

Dan said...

Anonymous (it's OK if you don't want to use your real name, Sarah -- CRAP!):

I definitely remember that dinner. That was insane. What you didn't see was me sneaking out the back door to empty the trash bags onto the sewer grates.

I think the funniest part was the utter nonchalance with which those guys were trying to sweep up the several inches of water on the floor. That was a pretty good indication that this sort of thing wasn't new!