Getting Ready for More Flooding in Bangkok

Driving in the Bangkok Floods is a Nightmare

When the water began receding form outside our home here in Minburi I took this to signal the end of the flooding season. If the news reports are correct (see here) the the worst is yet to come. We are expecting severe flooding within the next few days. The local authorities are handing out free sandbags, and we have been told to stock up on food. They are also warning people to take all their belongings upstairs.

A Perfect Storm for Flooding

The conditions in many parts of Thailand are already grim. My wife’s family in Phitsanulok has been living with the floods for two months now. Our old home in Lopburi has also been badly hit. We’ve been relatively lucky here in Minburi, but probably not for much longer. Experts are predicting major flooding between October 16th and 18th; if it rains again then we won’t have to wait that long.

At the moment the conditions for flooding could be described as the ‘perfect storm’. All the reservoirs in the North of Thailand have to start releasing water because they are already filled to capacity. This water will reach Bangkok around the 16th where it is going to clash with a high sea tide coming at the coast – this means that the water will not be able to escape into the sea. If that wasn’t bad enough they are also predicting more heavy rainfall over the coming days.

Floods Outside Our House in Bangkok

Good Reasons Not to Watch TV during a Storm

We had a bad thunder and lightning storm here two nights ago. My wife always insists that we turn the electrical appliances off, but I’ve always thought this to a bit of an overreaction. So I kept tapping away on my desktop computer despite the sky ripping apart outside my window. It was only when a lightning bolt hit a neighbor’s house that I got the message. The flash and bang so close scared the life out of me. I later found out that it wasn’t just me who was blasé about using electrical appliances during a thunder storm; the lighting blew up my neighbor’s TV set.

I grew up in Ireland where complaining about the miserable weather is a way of life. In Thailand people start a conversation by asking, “have you eaten yet?”; in Ireland the conversation starter is usually, “terrible weather, isn’t it?”. I never knew what ‘terrible weather’ actually meant until I moved to Thailand. The amazing thing is that people here cope with it so well. Life goes on.

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6 thoughts on “Getting Ready for More Flooding in Bangkok

  1. omg … how was your neighbor?

    so it’s a good suggestion not to watch TV during the storm, right?
    Mine was disturbed by the rain and it said “no signal” all the time and all I have left is my computer.

    I went to help and donate for people outside Bangkok just last week. I hope the flood will end soon, i felt so bad for them since they have to live like that to save Bangkok from flood. And yet people here in Bangkok looked down on them and always said that they have no education. Really unfair : (

  2. Paul, I read a book about a man (in the U.S.) whose house and electric lines were hit by lightning while he was using the telephone during a storm (I’m presuming the lines were above ground as this story is about 20 years old). The lightning came through and went through his entire body, even fusing the nails of his shoes to the floor. (The book was about his near death experience. Everyone said he was dead, but he was eventually revived, and his recovery took several years.) At any point, you should definitely be careful.
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  3. Paul I recently experienced Thailand’s floods during my two week stay in Wilai’s village. The Wang Chang River flows past the front of the village and its banks had burst and flooded the homes nearest to it and swallowed up the road and bridge leading to the nearby small town. Fortunately for most of the villagers their homes were not affected by the high waters and our house being the furthest and highest point from the river was the safest of all. Last week the water levels were going down but I still think it will be a few more weeks before the worst affected homes are back to some kind of normality.

    I hope your forecast of bad weather for your region is somehow wrong and you have seen the last of this year’s rainy season.

    Life goes on.

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