Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Oct 07 2007

Typhoon Krosa

floodTaiwan’s been suffering from a bit of typhoon fatigue, due to the high number of storms that have come through our fair island this season. So when people heard about the latest and greatest storm, Super Typhoon Krosa, I think most everyone just sighed and though, well, ok. Another one. Meh.

I thought the same thing, even as the storm hit, as the high-rise buildings next to us blocked most of the wind, and we got none of the window rattling or moaning and swaying accompanying previous weather. But when I looked out from my window on Saturday morning I could see that the wind and rain were doing quite a bit of damage in our area. The river was high, higher than I’d ever seen it before, and rushing below the bridge at a surprising speed, carrying tree trunks, trash and the occasional piece of furniture within its brown, frothy wake.

Naturally, I had to go take a look. As a trip to the 7-Eleven downstairs had soaked me down to my underwear in seconds, I prepared for my excursion by donning my old TVBS weather gear, jacket and pants, slipping my older Canon digital camera in one pocket.

The bridge wasn’t rocking too badly, as the wind had died down, but the rain was heavy. I walked to the other side of the river and up towards Wantan, where I saw that the little community of buildings on the far shore was flooded. Along the Xindian side, there was no sign of the playground equipment, and the water reached towards the top of the basketball hoops. All the shops were closed except one, from which Karaoke music sounded.

I walked back downstream, under the highway bridge, where a newly installed railing was being bent over by the rushing water, and down to the traffic bridge, where the sluice gates had been opened to admit a crashing maelstrom of brown fury. I continued down to the parking lot, past some guys busy fishing along the edge of the water, to a halfway submerged parking lot. Waves were crashing along the cars, which were floating and bumping into each other with every motion of the water. I waded towards a pavilion nearby, following a fellow in a yellow poncho, but at one point my foot plunged into a hole. That was close, I thought, and took another step into a much deeper hole, a hole that, as far as I could tell, had no bottom. I grabbed the side of the shack, scrapping my hand in the process, and hauled myself back up again. My pants had protected my wallet, but my camera got a soaking. It still worked, but the image was fuzzy and it wouldn’t turn off for more than a minute, turning itself back on again.

Cursing, I stalked back towards Bitan, where, crossing the bridge, I saw the swanboat guys out trying to rescue one of their wayward pontoons, which had been folded in half by the floodwaters. Amazingly, one guy jumped out onto the mostly-submerged roof of their shack, which was emitting metallic groans as it struggled to maintain its moorings amid the stream, and then onto the pontoon itself. He then used his legs to push the pontoon out into the stream and jumped back onto the shack, dodging the mooring lines as the pontoon swept downstream again. I filmed the spectacle with my little wet camera, and the guys on the bank asked me if I was a reporter from TVBS. “I used to be, but not any more,” I said. I think they were disappointed that they wouldn’t be on the news. Well, they’ll be on my video of my little walk that I put on Youtube at least.

When I got back I took the battery and flash card out of the camera, dried everything off, and the image is back to normal. It still turns itself on, though, so I have to store it without the battery. I’m glad I didn’t take my phone out with me.

This morning the river was still high, but not nearly as high as it was before, and the typhoon’s mostly left. I suppose we’re lucky we didn’t lose electricity and water, as it was a pretty strong storm. Hopefully that’s all this season has in store for us, but I wouldn’t bet on it. I’m getting pretty sick of these weekend typhoons.

posted by Poagao at 5:52 am  


  1. that’s just it. And not only are they coming on the weekends, they’re coming when we have three-day weekends.

    Comment by The Dongbei Wanderer — October 7, 2007 @ 10:43 am

  2. […] of bloggers have written about Typhoon Krosa: Poagao, The Only Redhead, Michael Turton, the NH Bushman, the Taiwan Chronicles and  […]

    Pingback by David on Formosa » Links 8 October 2007 — October 7, 2007 @ 7:30 pm

  3. WTF going on today, more typhoon weather? It’s raining like crazy and I got go take pictures. I think it will have to wait a few days.

    Nothing much in our neighborhood in Banqiao. A few felled trees. I got soaked walking the dog.

    Comment by range — October 8, 2007 @ 7:17 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment