10 July 2007

Tunnel of fury

I was on my way to the University of Maryland library around noon today when the darkening skies and increasingly frequent clashes of thunder announced the approach of a storm. Before I reached the safety of the library, the rain started. I looked around and saw a tunnel under the main road going towards the center of the campus. As I entered the tunnel running, the rain had picked up. A few seconds later another guy dashed in from the other entrance. We were thinking that we'd be out in 5, maybe 10 minutes, nice and dry. We were in for a surprise.

The rain kept coming down and 20 minutes later we were still in the tunnel. Then we noticed that the wind kept changing direction; first it would blow the rain in from one entrance, making us retreat towards the other, and then it would start blowing in from the other one. Just as our situation was changing from hopeless to ridiculously hopeless, my tunnel-mate looked back towards the far entrance of the tunnel and uttered an ominous "Uh oh!" No sooner had his cry ended than I felt a tremendous gust of wind, accompanied by a tunnel-wide column of rainwater, pushing me from behind. When this pressure-assault ended a minute later, we had resisted being blown out, but the back halves of our bodies were soaking wet. My hat had gotten blown off and deposited in a muddy puddle outside.

tunnel of fury

Finally, the wind stopped. Crying would have been useless, so we just laughed at our situation. I took my camera out; this needed documentation. 5 more minutes later the first patches of blue sky became visible. I finally stepped outside, retrieved my hat and resumed my walk to the library. On the road above the tunnel the wind that couldn't dislodge us from our "refuge" had knocked down a lamp post.

after the storm
The railings along the road are directly above the entrances of the tunnel below.

2 comments:

Megan said...

I'm sorry to hear that you got soaked returning the book I borrowed! I know the tunnel you took shelter in, and it's small but does appear (if deceptively) like it would provide adequate protection against a rainstorm.

nemo said...

A great big geçmiş olsun to all of you!