-Mayor Rob Ford
The following has been written up from notes I scribbled on the back of my hand with a magic marker as I fled the deluge. Hopefully they will be of use in reconstructing the events of what will surely come to be regarded as a late afternoon of infamy.
4:30 PM: The downpour has already begun when my bus arrives. The bus is full of wet people from outer Scarborough. It smells of exotic foods; samosas, and coffee that isn't from Tim Horton's. The atmosphere grows tense as we plod slowly east through deepening puddles. A baby cries.
5:35 PM: I exit into a full-blown conflagration! The water, while not yet ankle deep, penetrates my runners and is, I discover, quite cold and unpleasant. A determined leap carries me to the sidewalk.
5:37 PM: I stand before my building. Lightning fills the air and I decide I will not chance an elevator ride under such fraught circumstances. Instead, I scale an interior stairway...one floor, two, three...I am reminded of my first time up K-2, back in the day.
5:41 PM: I reach my unit! NOOOO! A window has been left open, and the carpet beneath has grown damp from the rain. I race to the site, bath towel in hand, and dry as though my very life depended upon it! This carpet, while not exactly new, is in excellent shape and I can neither afford to replace it or strip it to the hardwood underneath! Fortunately, through vigorous efforts, I am able to avert disaster.
6:10 PM: A sudden emergency requires an elevator trip down to the underground and my parked vehicle. I clutch a bic lighter to my chest as my car descends, in case of a power outage. The air fills with tension. Later, in-line skates retrieved, I ride back up, still wary. However, this journey passes without incident.
6:45 PM: I look out my balcony window at the lightning over Lake Ontario. While there is no flooding in this location, I fear that richy-rich downtown assholes who have been made homeless by the storm may show up and start begging for food and blankets. It is a tense moment.
8:00 PM: During a lull in the storm, I put on Season III of Downton Abby. It is, I find, very much like season II of Downton Abby. Bates is still in the shit. The air is tense as I await the next band of storm-clouds from The West.
Tuesday, 5:57 AM: I awake on my couch, having missed both the second wave of storms and whether or not Lady Mary finally hooks up with that barrister guy. It is only blind luck that a tree was not ripped from its moorings by the storm winds and flung against the side of my building while I slept, with possibly fatal consequences!
I thank FATE that I have come safely through the events of the last 12 hours.
Forgive, but I cannot help but wipe a tear from eye at the quiet courage and Churchillean eloquence of your heroic narrative.
We WILL rebuild.
The best news I take from this very pithy diary is that you, like me are a Downton Abbey fan
That's two major floods for you this year. It's the new standard pattern. Heavy rain fronts now move at snail's pace instead of passing through fairly quickly as they historically did. Heavy rain is transformed into deluge for those beneath the storm. Toronto, Calgary, Toronto and we're not even a third of the way through summer.
What of your infrastructure, systems that were designed for 20th century conditions, not this new 21st century climate? How much damage is your infrastructure sustaining, how much of it is cumulative?
Taking the measure of climate change impacts is like betting on a prize fight. It's not whether your guy can take a punch but how many punches he can absorb over how many rounds before he winds up on his back on the mat, down for the count.
We can't let that happen to Toronto. The cost to the country would be too great. Time for some Marshall-Plan scale stimulus spending. We've already put it off much too long.
I feel for the torontonians. They dont have a Naheed Nenshi to lead the way. So the storms will continue, the infrastructure will crack and the city will drown.
Everyone is going to move to Hamilton to be saved!
thats gonna get embarassing!
Here's maybe some further background to consider;
Yes, infrastructure spending is necessary.
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