Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Flood’s Aftermath

I closed my last post commenting that a military truck had arrived and that perhaps the cavalry had come.

It turns out that there were many trucks that descended on the neighborhood, all filled with military personnel. I’m told the men are students at the military university. All of us were impressed with how they hit the ground running. Some of them organized into bucket brigades and sought out houses with standing water. Homes with elderly people were given priority.

A neighbor allowed me to take photos in her house as the soldiers worked. They were incredibly efficient…buckets were moving hand to hand in both directions almost as fast the eye could follow them. There were eleven men in this team. I also learned, after being hit by a pail that they were not about to let anyone, including a pseudo-journalist disrupt their rhythm. There was at least twelve inches of water in four rooms of this house. Within twenty minutes the water was gone and the men had moved on.

Other soldiers focused on sweeping water from the street into storm drains. When what they were doing became apparent, neighbors…kids, women and old men joined the effort. Peruvians are not afraid to work, especially when it helps their neighborhood.  

A lingering problem is no tap water. Two water pipes burst two nights ago. We are told we won’t have water until Tuesday. Bottled water at stores is being sold from pallets at store entrances, and you have to be fast to get some.

Hopefully this is the final photo I take of this flood. The last of the water is being pumped into a storm drain, and those neighbors not still removing water from their houses are busy gathering up the debris. Soon life will be back to normal.

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