LPA and Agaton Blues

I have experienced flooding before- in 1979, 1999, 2011. It happens to us with a more than a decade interval. I did not expect it to come too soon.  The non-stop raining for the past two weeks was something to be concerned about.

My cousin and I were chatting about how my aunt reacted to the flooding in their street.  She described it as ‘thrilling’ because it has been stationary near their gate for days.

This  was our version of thrilling by Sunday afternoon, January 19.
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We even managed to build a makeshift fort for our dog to prevent him from jumping into the water.
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By late afternoon on Sunday, the water level already rose.
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My friend who lives near the river already evacuated their families.

In the evening, I got a text from my boss about a tweet from Prof. Mahar Lagmay, executive director of Project NOAH. I verified it. True enough I got the same information. Prof Lagmay is an expert I asked about flood maps before and I trust his assessment.
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This made us decide to prepare for flooding. From previous experience, we know the flood-prone areas in the house so we quickly vacated the area.

Remember my living room last Christmas?
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We emptied it. Almost.
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We transferred the furniture to my Aunt’s house.
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Their living room turned into a bodega. We reinforced the furniture legs with plastic cups.

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That afternoon, my aunt already secured her plants on the waiting shed bench.

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We slept tight when the 11:30 PM warning of Prof Lagmay had passed.
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When we woke up, we are still dry. However, heavy rains kept pounding. The Tropical Depression Agaton showed its strength after being categorized as a low pressure area (LPA) for more than a week. The water level of the mighty Agusan River rose.

Then, my living room had two inches of flood. Yes, we still have power and my aunt was able to watch her favorite teleserye.
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My aunt’s porch was flooded. We were grateful that the living room was dry.
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My rooms were still safe and dry.
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The dogs were safe and dry.
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By Tuesday morning, rain was reduced to drizzles and the water in my home was slowly receding. It was cleanup time for us. My aunt started scooping out flood waters to the pail and I carried those pails 50 steps away to my bathroom. It was a good workout.
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We did the same thing with my living room that by Tuesday afternoon, my floors were squeaky clean. I purposely sat on the floor to show you how clean it is. Pardon the fashion faux pas.
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We had time to roam around the neighborhood and the streets were still flooded.

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There are still thousands of families in the evacuation centers. I know someone who lost their home. I know someone whose brother had to be rescued.

My beloved city is under the state of calamity. I am fine. My family is fine. But there are still thousands who are homeless. The water level has not yet subsided.

Please keep us in your prayers.

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