Tag Archives: climate

Only Child on cause and effect with floods, etc.

Only Child and her parents  in another time and world

Only Child and her parents in another time and world

Yet another heavy flash downpour hit southern Ontario late yesterday afternoon. It got me fine-tuning my beliefs and attitudes towards this world we live in. And yes, more water got into my basement. But before I delve into that, more on yesterday’s storm and the unnecessary hardship it caused people. I say “unnecessary” because the storm should never have happened.

Toronto received a record amount of rainfall in one hour . Here’s the beginning of a story in the Globe and Mail by Vidya Kauri and Kaleigh Rogers http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/thunderstorm-knocks-out-power-in-toronto/article13080793/

The Toronto area was drying out Tuesday morning after record rainfall the night before closed transit and roadways, stranded commuters knocked out power in several areas, flooded homes and caused other damage.

Environment Canada said some parts of the GTA had been drenched with more than 100 millimetres of rain, trouncing the previous one-day rainfall record of 29.2 mm in 2008 for Toronto and even beating the 74.4 mm monthly average for July.

As I’ve posted before something’s not right in this world. And it looks like another story by Rita Silvan at http://www.theloop.ca/living/house-and-home/realty-check/article/-/a/2559094/There-will-be-flood-here-s-how-to-stay-above-water  is at least acknowledging the flooding to the end of the world belief – even the title. The story begins:

There will be flood… here’s how to stay above water

According to the biblical Book of Exodus, plagues come in ten different flavours, including frogs, locusts and flood. Bad-ass floods have been appearing with increasing frequency across the globe. Whether the cause is global warming or the wrath of the Gods, or both, it’s mighty inconvenient. We expect coastal habitats to get water-logged from time-to-time but Calgary and Manhattan underwater?

Not only has the frequency of flooding increased but so has the damage they inflict. Economists estimate that the floods in Alberta will cost the province billions of dollars and lower Canada’s GDP by $2 billion. That’s just the meta-view. Down at street level, shopkeepers are going out of business, workers are getting laid-off, and hippos are on the loose.

Well it’s more than hippos on the loose and they aren’t causing the floods. Although the article goes on about global warming and where houses should and should not be built, it is the first part of this story that resonates with me.

In the GTA alone, there were rampant floods around, including the big shopping mall in Mississauga just west of Toronto; power outages inside and outside Toronto (about 80 per cent of Mississauga at one point), Toronto’s subways were halted due to flooding and one portion in the west end of a subway line was still closed this morning. Highways were flooded with motorists stranded. And are you ready for this one? A GO commuter train with 1400 passengers got stuck in a flood of water in Toronto when the Don River overflowed. The water flooded the train’s lower level and passengers had to go to the upper level. The train couldn’t go either way and it was seven hours before all passengers could be removed because the police marine unit had to remove them a few at a time in their four water rafts.

Ridiculous and not acceptable. Excluding the flood part, why did the police use or have only a small number of rafts? Couldn’t other organizations’ boats come to the scene to help? There certainly was enough water for their travel.

And my basement got some water in yet again, mostly in the laundry room, including in a place where it hadn’t gotten in before. However, so far all laundry room water entries are on the side of the house and in the area where N. did the excavation and sealing two years ago. That was supposed to stop any flooding from over there. Obviously not. N. has not been doing his due diligence and fixing his error – which it is now clear is the cause of that (not the actual rainstorm/GTA flooding itself, though). The City of Toronto water people have been in and done the drain testing – my property’s part and the city’s part and it showed clear. Repeated calls to N. (with this drain result, a test he kept harping on for me to get done) about it’s not the drains and he needs to finish testing the areas of the wall to find the source have gone unanswered. I may have to take legal action. Next week I have an appointment with my lawyer to update something in my will and I’m going to ask George what my legal options here are. Not that I can afford any.

In the immediate aftermath of the rain and thunderstorm, I realized two things.

1.      You can do your best to protect yourself and your family, your property, etc. but something from “out there” will shove itself in and cause problems, even disasters.

2.      This one more a firming up – all those responsible for doing harm to people, their pets and their property, to any piece of land etc. should acknowledge their responsibility and make amends to all those they harm. That’s everybody. The insurance companies don’t call floods, earthquakes, etc. “Acts of God” for nothing. Not that humans aren’t to blame for many of the world’s disasters, such as that recent airplane crash landing at San Francisco airport and possibly the running train carrying oil that crashed into a Quebec town. I don’t see the hand of God in either of these.

I really like the physicians’ motto – “Do No Harm.”

Too bad it isn’t the modus operandi for all others.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawforf

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Extreme Weather, Floods, Home and Garden, Learning Experience, Only child, Problems, Rain and wind storm, Responsibility, Sharon A. Crawford, Toronto, Water, Weather

Only Child asks why bother with hope and faith?

Only Child again contemplates some harsh realities

Only Child again contemplates some harsh realities

Last Wednesday’s mixed precipitation storm of slush caused me to cancel my monthly writing critique group for the first time ever. At first I thought it was an indirect way to give me the extra time needed to complete my prequel novel for my publisher’s deadline.

Then I went downstairs to do my twice daily check of the rec room floors. To my horror I discovered some water had leaked in through the inner wall where I hadn’t placed towels. I’ve had these water problems before and despite a big excavation two years to “fix” the problem, I still check the floors regularly and place down towels when it rains – because I have learned not to trust that all will be well. Last Wednesday’s was the first leak since the excavation. But, guess I should have spread towels out on the inner wall. I called the guy who did the repair work two years ago and he finally showed up last evening after dark. He says it is probably the caulking he put around one of the windows has come loose and he will just need to caulk it – no charge for that. But he can’t do it until it warms up (including during the night). Guess what? Later tonight we have possible freezing rain and rain tomorrow. Which I found out on the weather network online because…

When I turned on the TV this morning to get my morning weather dose from the weather network  I found nothing but black static and a message to call my service provider. Which I did – after 411 interrupted to give me the correct phone no. Apparently the one on my cable bill is incorrect. When I got through to technical support I heard a message that there is a problem with the digital adapter service in the Toronto area; they are working to fix it and service will be restored as soon as possible. So far… no service. They apologized.

Not good enough. Some of us (myself included) who live just above the poverty level can’t afford to convert to full digital service. For me that isn’t just getting an expensive digital TV, but my electrical outlets by the TV need converting to three-prong. An electrician refused last year to do the job because of having to cut through walls, etc. He made it sound like a real mess. Newsflash. I had this done in another area without any mess to create a new outlet so the air conditioner could have its own outlet. So I opted for an alternative last year – a digital adapter supplied by my cable company. The adapter and its delivery were free of charge but they wanted to charge to get one of their technicians to hook it up. So, I pulled the senior card and after much hassle and talking I got it connected free of charge. It has a two-prong plug-in and I use an extension cord to plug in the TV and a lamp.

These are just recent examples of why I have so little trust and faith. Fool that I am, I still put it out there daily to god, universe – whatever you want to call it (Some would call it “praying”). Every day I also give gratitude for what I am grateful for and do the opposite for what I’m not grateful for (i.e. what is wrong in my life). The latter list is getting longer and may catch up with the grateful list.

I don’t expect my life or anybody else’s to be perfect, but I think less aggravations and problems would help. Being an only person having to deal with everything myself puts me in a more precarious position.

Somewhere back in the days when I was growing up Catholic and still believed in trust, faith and miracles, I was taught that nobody gets more crosses to bear than they can manage.

Not true. I’m living proof of that and so are many others. To take it beyond the personal – look at what is happening around the world – for example the homeless and some of that due to weather.

Yes, back to weather. As the guy who did the excavation said, our winters are no longer just cold and snow; we get rain mixed in and that causes a lot of problems. I remember even as far back as the early to mid-1990s when winters were winter with no rain until spring.

What have I learned? Besides life being unfair, you can really count only on yourself. And if you can’t, you might as well be dead.

One more thing. If I hear anymore reference to Mother Nature in connection with bad weather, I will scream. “Mother” and “bad weather” (any kind) is a misnomer and an oxymoron. Just think about that.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Aloneness, Floods, Learning Experience, Life demands, Living alone, Only child, Sharon A. Crawford, Trust, Weather, Winter Weather

Only Child says road construction sign of life’s discord

Only Child’s front garden – headed for some destruction?

Last weekend I did a lot of walking in downtown Toronto and was appalled at all the road construction. Supposedly it is to improve Toronto’s streets and sites. But as I slogged through the heat along Front Street West and down York Street I couldn’t help wonder if underneath it all there is a more serious sign. If you throw in the extreme weather conditions worldwide – more severe thunderstorms with flooding, tornadoes, forest fires, and the worst drought since the Depression in the mid-1930s, you have to wonder. No, folks, I’m not talking the end of the world, although some people believe that will happen later this year. I mean the extensive invasive construction and extreme weathers conditions  just might be signs of the clutter, overwhelm, and disharmony in people’s lives throughout the world.

It didn’t used to be so much construction at once, although I remember as a five-year old, poking my head out the front door and seeing the whole street dug up for pipe replacement.

Now, Union Station – Toronto’s railway hub – is going through a big renovation. From the diagrams displayed inside the station’s big hall, the future looks great. But the process is taking a long time and producing a spill-out of more construction nightmares. The actual entries to Union Station and maneuvering around inside appear tolerable. Front Street outside is something else as the islands of gardens in the middle of the street were removed last year and this summer more of Front Street is one big long hole while sewers, etc. get updated. In June, the construction and the extreme weather created a flood inside Union Station and the subway platform below.

This weekend, yet another street where streetcars run, entered the construction act – to upgrade the tracks and prepare the area for a partial pedestrian walkway for Toronto’s Harbourfront. These streetcars (as well as those on Spadina Avenue) use a dedicated track line. The buses don’t. So, we have people, cars and buses (when they come) jamming streets and sidewalks. I gave up on waiting for the bus transfer from the subway (up the stairs, around the corner and down the street) for the walk to Harbourfront. Along with many others, I trudged through heat over to York Street and then some shade under the Gardner Expressway (which has had chunks of cement falling down in various places) and finally to Harbourfront. I was trying to make it in time for the classical music concert in the Harbourfront Music Garden. So I walked in the heat and humidity over to the west end of Harbourfront. As I arrived (late) and started through the gardens I could hear the “music.”

Somebody was insulting an accordion, hitting random chords of discord. I decided to skip the concert and wandered through the gardens. Here, beauty appeared and I found areas of the garden I hadn’t known existed. Truly this is an oasis of calm (except for the occasional sound from the concert popping through). When I walked back to Harbourfront Centre proper as I passed by the main outdoor concert stage, my ears were hit with more discord in sound. Another sign of the discord everyone seems to be experiencing in their lives?

And if I think sitting out in my garden will help, I have to think again – at least for the front garden. In my walk along the downtown streets Sunday and in my walks in nearby neighbourhoods the past month, I’ve seen the big gas pipe movement – replacement of old pipes for presumably newer and better ones. And if they have to, they go on your property and dig, although for the lucky ones, it stays on the sidewalk, roads, and maybe the driveway.

Not for me. I have gas lines under part of my front garden (once a front lawn). Why would gas lines (except the one connecting to the house service at the gas metre) be under a lawn? Who was at fault – the house builder/developer or the gas company back in the day when the area was developed? Somebody screwed up. And I’m terrified they will be coming to get my front garden – if not this year, then next. I’m having nightmares and daymares.

I need to find out more and make a plan.

Does anyone else find the extremes in weather, and such occurrences as too much radical construction, etc. a sign that our lives are really out of whack and we (I use the royal “we” here) need to make some changes before it is too late?

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Clutter, Extreme Weather, Garden Destruction, Home and Garden, Music, Only child, Road Construction, Sharon A. Crawford, Sign of the Times, Union Station Toronto, Walking