San Miguel de Allende

The Ten Minute Flood

August 4, 2020

When we moved into our new rental on Real a Querétaro in April, we perused the binder of do’s and don’t, helpful hints, and how to’s left by our landlords.

Number 10 on the list said, “please refrain from using the toilet during rainstorms. The main sewer line running down Calle Salida is too small to accommodate all the larger remodels. Thus, when there are torrential rains, the system just gets bogged down with too much water.”

We have heard this from other landlords. It is good to be prepared.

Or so we thought.

But we never thought of a flood.

It is the rainy season in San Miguel. And typically we love the display of thunder and lightning that takes place across the sky while we watch the rain curtain come into town. Storms here can be rapid and spectacular. They can be romantic when we are inside our abode sipping a shot of Rompope, comfortable, safe and dry.

We didn’t have storms like this in the Bay Area, but I remember them from family visits to my grandparents in Minnesota. Then the mournful sound of a train whistle added to the spectacle.

My heart always jumps a bit when this jumble of rain, train and thunder occurs. In San Miguel, we may not always hear the train in the distance, but the others jump forward, creating fresh memories.

If out in one of our storms though, take cover. Hunker down at a cafe and wait for it to pass. It will, and the sun will come out, dry everything off and you can proceed with your day.

This time, however, it was almost biblical. Where was our ark? I bet the people stuck in the taxi riding waves on Hernandez Macias thought the same thing.

It started as most storms do and then went ballistic. We could not see beyond the end of our terrace. The rain was grey and thick and marvelous. The wind surged and Glenn went under the eaves to be a part of it. It was energizing and crazy.

I was inside, reading on the couch in our living room.

I heard a gurgle. They warned us of the noise from the toilet.

I checked on it. Nothing going on.

I settled back on the couch, glanced up again, and saw a mini Niagra coming off the bathroom step, equally strong from the toilet.

I have been in the Okavango Delta on a day when the flood starts. Literally watching it come in inch by inch. It’s one of the great sights to behold.

But not from a bathroom.

I turned on the phone video. My first attempt, a minute and a half of rapid expletives and funky angles as I held the phone and tried to push back the area rug at the same time.

We would have to pass this over to our landlords. Well, they got a slightly more subdued version capturing our plight. No less dramatic, but a bit more PG in rating. I didn’t want to sound like a banshee.

Smelly water covered our main floor in a matter of minutes. My ADHD mind, which has a hard enough time processing multiple events on good days, went into overdrive.

Glenn was a calmer buoy for me to focus on.

We were surprised to see that water didn’t flow down our stairs to the lower floor and thought, thank god for that. We threw a few towels in front just to make sure and they held.

Now we were standing in several inches of water, the storm started waning. It had done its damage for the day.

Glenn and I hadn’t experienced a flood here. Our landlords said it had only happened once in the fifteen year history of the house.

Weren’t we the lucky ones?

I assessed the damage and called out to Glenn in a shrill voice as he talked on the phone. We started sweeping water out with brooms and Glenn calmly found that our housekeeper Dominga had been contacted. She would be at the house momentarily with a nephew in tow, making things right.

Less than three hours later we came down the stairs to Clorox’d, dry tile. The only memory of events the two area rugs drying in the garage.

We love our life in Mexico. We came down looking for a change and an authentic lifestyle. And it constantly amazes us at the resourcefulness and calm that things are taken in stride. I am learning lessons all the time.

Dominga, always smiling and a delight to chat with, went back to her own house. And we settled back into ours.

A new chapter of our life in Mexico to write about. Another day to realize how lucky we are.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Robert Hawkins August 4, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    Oh, boy! So this is what the rainy season brings! Thank heavens for Dominga! Sorry you guys experienced that.

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