Friday, October 18, 2013

Typhoon #26, Typhoon Wipha sure packed a punch

During the "town undokai" , this past Sunday, they made an announcement over the loud speaker. That if the typhoon turns out being as big as they were expecting for Wednesday the school would in fact be closed. So since town undokai was this past Sunday. And given Monday was a holiday in Japan and so school was closed Monday, plus our school was off Tuesday also, since our school was technically in session on Sunday due to the town undokai. Anyway we were all expecting the typhoon to be a real doozy. And the bad part is.... it looked like it was heading straight for our town. So, we made sure Monday and Tuesday we had enough meat in the freezer, extra milk, eggs and bread, enough drinks. Etc. We also ran to Costco that Monday also the same day we went to get our pumpkin. Meanwhile, October 15th as you can see by this email I received from the US Embassy telling all American citizens to be careful that indeed the typhoon was going to be a big one. Also it is nice to hear the name of each typhoon, this one was Typhoon Wipha and nice that they are keeping track which # this actual typhoon was, because after a while, with so many typhoons you do sort of lose track which number it is, so at least some one's keeping count. : )  Winds up to 86 MPH. And gusts up to 109 MPH wow! By Tuesday at 10am, we had already been notified that the school for the next day would be indeed closed.  
It rained and the winds howled all night Tuesday night. And even Wednesday morning. But by 10am the typhoon had finally passed our town. I looked out Noah's window and took these couple pictures to share with you all. Our housing community is built on a hill. A rock hard mountain type hill at that. Because we had the hardest time building our home years ago because it was so solid and rock hard. The good thing is we certainly didn't need our land modified. But it was such a pain at the time because it was so rock hard. So before I lose track of my point. The point being our housing community is elevated, meaning it is on a hill. This elevation from the rice field or canal or river level is one of the many reasons we decided to build our house here. And it is pretty high from the actual regular rice field level. So this can be peace of mind for my family knowing we will never be flooded. But if you look out you can see in the fields behind our house and below, the rice fields all swelled up with water from the heavy rains. 
This thin road that usually people walk on while walking their dogs or riding their bikes on or a few farmers will ride their K white farmer trucks on, but the road  if you look real close....this part pictured here totally wiped out and under water. The road breaks off into 2. One part wraps around that corner/curve. And this part goes straight and you can see road and then it sort of disappears. Totally underwater. The scattering of houses back there is not our town, fwiw. Any of those kids living in those houses would go to a different school all together. Let me zoom in a little bit to show the the car and water level.
See the cars? Now see the water level? : (  While our housing community was fine. A great deal of the houses rice field/tanbo level did get water damage. I heard that our local drug store also got water damage. The loud speaker kept going off all Wednesday. Making announcements which part of the town was underwater or damaged.  When we went out to the front of the house, Noboru spoke with Rin's dad and he basically said. All the roads from the Mini Stop all the way right, of the Mini Stop that lead to the tiny city nearest us. The roads were totally under water and we're talking the main road. And he also said, as for the left side, all houses on the other side of the railroad tracks near the barber shop also got heavily hit by water and water damage. This made us greatly worried, because Sera and his parents live near there. Was the drug store wiped out completely? No it wasn't. Phew! How much of the food and goods were ruined? Again the local drug store is rice field/canal level. So lots of talk about that all day long. You know how tiny towns talk. : )  Nobody could get anywhere to go to the store Wednesday. Good thing I went Monday and a run to the bakery Tuesday. So we were fine but...: ( The boy next door's mom left, and she came back 5 minutes later saying...I can't leave the housing community! So basically we needed time for the water to sorta suck back into the ground, so to speak. It needed all day to recede.

Oh yeah, remember those 109 MPH gusts of wind? And remember those lovely apples the grandma next door shared with us this summer? Well, that tree is sadly no more! Grandma next door was very upset about the apple tree! She told us, she had him for 20 years, that in fact they moved him from their old house in Funabashi! You see...I did not know that. Sigh. Wednesday just found all of us, sorry about something around here. : ) Sorry to hear some one's house had flooded. Sorry to hear the one and only local drug store had some sort of damage. Sorry about the apple tree. Sorry no one could seem to leave our housing community. : ( In was such a good idea that school was canceled Wednesday. Because I don't think considering the roads were all wiped out, I could get the boys to school even if I tried! : ) Same for the rest of our town. : ) 

The grandma next door and her husband went after the typhoon had passed and as soon as the roads were drive able again and after the grandpa next door cut up the damaged snapped in half tree with his chainsaw. Anyway after that they went and bought a new tree. Pictured here. 
This picture was taken Friday. 2 days after the typhoon had wreaked havoc on our town! While the water has in fact receded, you can still see where the roads are still trying to dry out under the sun still. Yep, this road was also completely under water! All the main roads leading out of our town were all under water. : (
This will give you a better idea. Seeing this picture, let me explain. See the rice field, and see the houses are almost same level as the fields maybe a couple feet above rice field level granted, but it can flood their houses. It is possible, sadly, if a typhoon does indeed hit our town. : (  Thursday and Friday were the only days our school was in session this week. Apparently a few kids from various grades, missed Thursday, according to Branden. And 1 girl in Branden's class said to her class that her house was moderately damaged because of the flooding, : ( but she did manage to make it to school.

When I read the news Thursday, first news on said, "Worst typhoon in a decade hits Japan!" I read that while drinking my morning coffee, thinking..... "Boy, you're not kidding!!!" : ) So anyway, I just wanted to say to family and friends, who do worry about our little family here....we are fine. Our house is fine. However,our town we do get worried about our town and the community as a whole, we have so many friends in our town. Sorry if it sounds really corny but,I feel part of this town and it bothers me to see it damaged like it was this week.

Also, just so you know in advance. According to Noboru, an even stronger typhoon then the one that just hit us, is heading our way as we speak. Typhoon 27. It should reach us, next week some time. Around October 23rd-25th type dates. So we are aware another one is coming. But trying to pin point when exactly is still just an estimate, because winds move and change course and lose steam, they just do. However, Noboru is keeping track of the weather forecast, every day. I will for surely be running to the store a day or two in advance and stocking up again. I hope it loses it's steam before it hits our tiny town. I hope it veers another course or direction. But Noboru says it's coming straight for our town, as of right now. And it's going to be stronger then the one we were hit with this week. @.@ So be safe, if you are in Japan. And I'll see if any of our good friends who live in our town, want us to help stack sand bags or just need help with anything if it is in fact going to be a direct hit yet again...just anything we can do to help.  Anyway that's all for now. : )

Today's plan? Head to Uniqlo to get pajamas/roomwear for Branden because he has an over night trip with his 6 grade class, this month. The 6th graders are going to Hakone, Japan, for their 6th grade over night trip. : ) Branden's so excited about going, you guys, they're staying at a hotel and going to soak in the onsen/hot springs, their hotel also has an onsen and rotenburo (outside onsen). Sounds fun! But, first, he needs a new pair of pj's. : )