For too long have we suffered under this record breaking heat wave. While further east they talk of floods and massive thunderstorm, we have past the heat and drought records that preceded the great Dust Bowl in the Thirties.
The summer is lost to me. There is something about 108 degree (42.5 Celsius) days that make even the most die hard adventurer stay inside under the air conditioning vents, but only so many nights can one avoid the heat without going just a little stir crazy. It was on a hot and restless night last month that I decided to take a drive and I found myself walking along the hot asphalt of the city market area.
As it so happened, on this moonless hot night, I saw in front of me what must have been a mirage brought on by the oppressive heat and my powerful thirst. At first it started as a trickle, just a tiny ribbon of water running in gutter next to the sidewalk. I wondered to myself what kind of Troglodyte was wasting so much water in such a drought. The stream turned to a river and in seconds, the water was flowing down the street next to me like a river.
This was no hose running, would the fire department be testing hydrants at this hour of the night? Water was now topping the curb and cars were struggling to drive up the hill. Rapids were forming in the middle of the street.
At the top of the hill on Walnut Street, the water main had broken from the drought and now flowed like an artery wound down the hot dry streets. In no time my shoes were soaked and I took them off and stood in the flood waters, barefoot quickly rolling my pants up as the water deepened. Instantly I forgot about the sweat on my brow ruining my mascara and I was struck breathless in amazement of the situation.
People emerged up and down the street, all amazed at the scene before them. Owners of nice cars parked on lower ground ran down the street in their water-logged Gucci loafers to rescue their Mercedes and BMWs.
I can’t imagine how many gallons were lost or how much damage was actually done. I imagine quite a bit as the water had lifted the pavement up around the break well over a foot high. Worried restaurant and bar owners looked on with furrowed brows knowing that it was only a matter of time before the city arrived and shut off the water, in effect, closing them until repairs could be made. While most were content to sip cocktails in the windows and on the balconies, a few brave souls joined us in the street and for a brief moment in time we were all transformed, taking off our shoes and playing in the water like kids.