Weather Alert Cinque Terre Style

I’ll be honest. Before moving to Liguria I had never spent more than a few seconds thinking about problems related to the weather. A rain storm meant just more water coming out of the sky and a snow day was, after the first 10 minutes, just a pain in the butt in a town that was utterly unprepared.

Not that Liguria provides a great deal of snow, but water… oh well, that is something different. And if you find yourself, just one month after moving here, abandoning your house with your small children in your arms, walking through a river of water (and I mean, a river) because it is pouring left, right and center, well your attitude toward any upcoming storms will change for good.

Six years ago the Cinque Terre (and Levanto in a smaller way) was hit by severe rain storms, the mountains that surround this crazy, dramatic landscape couldn’t take it at all and crumbled, dragging along with them debris, dry stone walls, branches, cars, gas tanks and lives too. We personally only lost a few days of shoveling the mud our landlords were supposed to do themselves, but aside from living through a scary moment and leaving behind a few items stored in the garage, we didn’t lose much. But that experience will stick with us forever, and like us, with all of the people that in one way or another went through it.

When that mess happened, the authorities hadn’t called for any weather alert and schools were left open, with the result of having then to evacuate the kids who were in the nursery school because of its position way too close to the rushing river.

Ever since, every time there is a hint of a big rain storm coming, the city is gung-ho and closes every single school, creating the perfect stage for a post-apocalyptic movie scene. Everything else is closed too, and we are left to act like we are about to face an imminent disaster.

These past two days, after an already long weekend, schools have been closed due to a weather alert. The wind was howling and the rain came down like a typhoon.  Luckily without any damage.

Nature gives and natures takes back. You just don’t know when that is going to happen.

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