Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Oh no! Weather Post Warning!

Ya gotta blog about the weather sometime...

...and it might as well be when a country is forced to a virtual standstill by it! Yes, the rain has really stopped play in the Emirates as the bad weather continues and everyone looks forward to a second day of absolute chaos. It's been an interesting week so far, what with Dubai shutting down in honour of George W. and his mate Condi (by the way, Gulf News got some great pictures - including this one, image 4 of the 5 on the page, of a berk waving a camel stick around) and then yesterday's traffic chaos as heavy rains caused flooding all over the place, closing the arterial Emirates Road.

Last night the Ministry of Education decided to close all public and private schools until Sunday due to the weather - and we're apparently forecast another day of heavy rain today followed by a couple of days of fog. Way things are going around here, we'll get some showers of grasshoppers and perhaps some frogs as well.

Poor old Sharjah is, of course, worse hit than Dubai: the roads are flooded well above the kerbs in much of the city's Northern area, the inadequate drainage seemingly hardly helped by the multi-million dollar drainage project that followed the last major rains we had a few years ago. Many roads are only barely passable by two wheel drives. As if that weren't bad enough, yesterday's closure of the Emirates road has this morning apparently been exacerbated by Dubai Police deciding to close the Sharjah-Dubai carriageway because (wait for it) the Dubai-Sharjah one is flooded!!!

In short, it's miserable out there and the rain's still coming down as hundreds of thousands of cold, irritable and impatient commuters sploosh through the dirty grey-brown puddles, horns beeping, fan-belts squeaking and hazard lights set to on. Four died yesterday: let's hope everyone makes it in one piece today...

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