Typhoon Chan-Hom and aftermath- Ningbo, China

Aftermath at Moon Lake Park

After a week of rain, what we REALLY needed was a sunny day. What we got instead was a typhoon- the first one to directly hit Ningbo since 1948. It was a super typhoon and at one point was a category 4, although I think it got downgraded by the time it made it to Ningbo. Friday morning, Landon and I went outside and took a long walk because we knew we would have to be inside for most of the weekend. The typhoon was supposed to start making landfall around 5 pm Friday night. Austin came home from work at 6 pm. I asked him if the refinery guys were concerned at all, and he said that the guys he was working with made fun of him and the other members of the crew for even asking about having Saturday off, because “only kindergarteners” stay home when there is a typhoon. OK. The wind started blowing hard Friday afternoon, and Landon and I watched it blow harder and harder until at last, Austin returned home. 

Friday night, we went outside for a little walk around the neighborhood so Landon could stretch his legs. It was pretty windy, but not dangerous yet, and rain was just beginning to fall. We walked along the river and noticed how high it was from all the rain we had received already that week. There was not much room for more rain, and the typhoon was supposed to dump a ton more! The typhoon-force winds and rain really hit around 10 pm, and the wind whistled fiercely all night long so it was hard to get a good night’s sleep. Austin was not sure that they would get work off, so he got ready and went downstairs to board the bus for work. He had a pow-wow with the other guys and decided it would be best to just stay at the hotel. They weren’t sure about the roads to and from the refinery, and knew they would not be able to get much done in the middle of the typhoon! That made me happy, although it would be nice for Austin to have a Saturday off where we could actually do something instead of get really creative with occupying our time in the hotel room!

Broken tree at the river walk

We stayed safely inside the hotel all day Saturday. The hotel barricaded most of the doors with sand bags, so it was very difficult to leave anyway, but we just had a lazy day of swimming, movie watching, storm watching, and reading. The winds were very strong and at times, the river was flooding over the sidewalks of the riverwalk. We did not see any roads flooded. There were some in Austin’s company and the refinery that were annoyed they did not go in to work, but they received pictures later in the day of a portion of the ceiling of their office- collapsed- and then later in the day the refinery was evacuated. So, it ended up being a smart move to just stay at the hotel and wait out the storm. The whole storm, we stayed comfortably in our 31st floor room, watching it all go down.

Boys and a fallen tree

Saturday night the storm was still raging, but by Sunday morning, the rain had stopped and just the slightest wind remained. We went on a short walk before our call-in church to stretch our legs and get Landon’s wiggles out. The river walk was no longer flooded, but we saw many trees that had broken in half or just completely fallen over. I was sad for the trees. These green, lush trees were my favorite thing about strolling along the river!

Picnic pavilion… in the lake

Today, we went to Moon Lake park to take advantage of their playground. Landon did not want to do the playground, so we ended up wandering around looking at how flooded everything was. The paths along the canals and the lake were all flooded, as were several bridges. There were lots of kids in the water with nets and stuff playing, but I worried about the contamination of the water, so Landon only got hit feet wet. He found some good sticks and wanted to “fish.” We fished for a long time before heading back to the hotel. There were families coming to the park for picnics because it was a sunny, hot day, and some even waded through the water to the shady pavilions that are usually not underwater!

From the looks of it, the city got out pretty unscathed. There are many canals running through the neighborhoods, and I think they did a great job to getting the water out so people didn’t get flooded. This was our first direct-hit typhoon, and second typhoon experience, and I’m happy and grateful that we’re safe and relatively unaffected.

Sign marking an underwater path


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