|NASA illus. of a Microburst|
Last night we had a microburst associated with Hurricane Sandy here in Boston. It sounded like a freight train was passing by with fire hoses aimed at the front of our house. It was hard to hear the accompanying thunder over the sound of the pounding water. I shrugged when Peter showed alarm. "Hurricane stuff," I said, as I focused on the recent episode of Homeland.
Later I went downstairs to the kitchen and found a small pool of water on the living room floor. The two cats were there. They stared at the water. Then they looked up at me the way cats do when they think something is definitely out of place. Their expressions were a mix of "We didn't do it." and "Better clean that up!" I was dumbfounded. There was no sign of water on the ceiling. None on the wall. The water had somehow come in horizontally from the sill where the wood of the upper house is joined to the brick foundation. It was easily cleaned up with my shop vac.
I did some reading on microbursts and realized that the water came in because the water was coming up from the sidewalk in front of the house instead of pouring down and running off. This explains why the ceiling of the front porch was wet. That was new as well.
I have been thinking and writing about change and the capricious nature of life. Here was a great example. Rain falls...right? No. Rain can actually rise up from the ground in a microburst. No matter how well insulated my house or well sealed my roof, water can penetrate at Nature's whim.