On Thursday morning I broke down in the car while trying to navigate through the rain as we drove up Hermanos Escobar on our way to work. I was in tears, I couldn't breathe, I had to pull over. It scared the crap out of Gordo, that's for sure. It was the panic attack to end all panic attacks. Our windshield wipers don't work properly, nor do our headlights (only the high beams work) so I think that added to it all. Combining my driving anxiety with car problems while simultaneously trying not to drive into a sinkhole in the dark when it was pouring rain created the perfect storm. Pun intended.
Juarez obviously isn't known for it's rainfall; I think we only average a couple of inches a month during monsoon season. Although other areas get much more rain, the city just isn't equipped for that much water. The few storm drains and reservoirs that there are quickly overflowed into the streets and parks and unfortunately homes and businesses.
Driving through flood waters is the scariest experience I've ever had on the road. On Thursday night I was at an event in Las Cruces and didn't get back into Juarez until about 9:30. By that time my neighborhood had become completely inaccessible. I tried all the back alleys and every route I could think of but they all just looked like a raging river with stranded cars here and there. I called my husband in desperation to let him know that I was just going to sleep in the car on higher ground but he insisted that our SUV could make it through one particular street. In my head I kept hearing the message that I'd heard all day on the radio in El Paso: Turn Around, Don't Drown. Gordo said I was just being dramatic and that I needed to man up.
Como las meras meras viejas he said.
So I grabbed my lady balls and drove over to the street he had told me about. I thought he had officially lost his mind because that street looked just as flooded as all of the rest. Then I noticed some men out on their front patio and recognized one of Gordo's friends, Horacio. Good man. I asked him if he'd seen anyone else drive through that street. Pues no, pero tu puedes! No mas quedate cerca a la banqueta derecha!
Alright. Balls to the wall. I stayed to the right, as close to where I assumed the curb to be, because of course, it was covered with water. I briefly recalled the advice given to me earlier in the day from a co-worker. If you can't see the curb, it's too deep to drive through. Well. So much for that. I slowly made my way into the lake, careful not to hit the brake. Gordo had warned me a million times, don't brake. I don't know why and frankly I didn't care to ask. I just wanted to get home. So I drove. Halfway down the street water began to creep into the car and I immediately freaked out. I knew I shouldn't have listened to all these idiots! Turn around, don't drown! That's who I should have listened to!
And so in true Emily style, I panicked and gunned it. Water poured into the car. But guess what? I made it through the lake. I didn't turn around but I certainly didn't drown and by the grace of God, I didn't flood the engine. I came home and cried while Gordo laughed at me and then reprimanded me for being such a baby about all of this. People lost their homes he said. And you're over here crying because you're afraid to drive through a little agua! Word.
You gotta love a man who can put you in your place.
|The lake in front of our house that Gordo fondly referred to as Lago Cruz...|
|Only my husband would take the dogs for a walk in this weather!|
|Lucy fell in the lake... Meeko to the rescue!|
|Things got bad in parts of El Paso too. Thankfully the police stepped in and roped off some areas. |
Notice the Spanish caution tape.... in El Paso. You won't be seeing that on The Bridge...
It finally stopped raining and the waters have receded. Things are starting to get back to normal. Thankfully, there is only a 30% chance of rain for the next couple of days. I am lucky enough to say that the water never reached our front door, but I wish I could say the same for everyone else in Juarez, and in Colorado for that matter. My heart goes out to those who lost their belongings or have been displaced from their homes.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.