The other week in Hong Kong there was a Black Rain warning. We didn’t hear about it until we’d reached Tsim Sha Tsui, so we were in for a surprise.
Basically, Black Rain means that there’s going to be thunderstorms that dump so much rain that no drainage system in the world will be able to cope. That means localised flash flooding, lots of debris and all the Insurance companies take a holiday for the day.
We arrived in Central, on Hong Kong island, surfaced and found the streets awash with drains that looked more like geysers, motionless traffic and roads that looked like rivers.
In any case, we had a destination to get to so, after a quick re-route through the MTR to a different exit, surfaced and braved the rain and the waters. With nothing for it, we rolled up pants, de-shod ourselves and plunged across the street at what looked like a good spot, despite a nearby hotel concierge’s kind advice that it wasn’t such a good idea. We waded between the motionless traffic that was bubbling away in the 8″ of rushing water and emerged on the other side, still huddling together under our solitary brollie. At least our heads were dry…
The rest of the morning was spent drying out, making our way around HK in bare feet, much to the amusement of more than a few locals, who knew better and were sticking underground or indoors.
We took the MTR to the Festival Walk shopping centre and holed up in the AMC cinema where we could dry out in the over-zealous air conditioning in front of the latest Chronicles of Narnia movie, with dripping socks neatly laid out on the vacant chair next to us. We warmed ourselves afterwards with a tasty pork curry from the food court.
The effects of the Black Rain were quite widespread, with the highway to the airport being flooded and a few cars flooded up to their windows. The proprietors at the Landmark hotel were having a tough time dealing with water flooding onto a staircase from a cracked marble panel on an internal wall.