A yearly surprise for municipalities and the Ministry of Public Works: it rains in Lebanon.
Every single year, since the birth of Great Lebanon, since the beginning of rain on Earth, and since the first existing dinosaur, it rains in the mystical country of Lebanon at the end of November, beginning of December.
This bizarre phenomenon comes as no shock to an infant who has just opened its eyes to the beauty of life. If a 2 months old baby could talk, and we ask it when does it usually rain heavily in Lebanon, the baby would open its eyes in-a-matter-of-fact way and say: December!
If you think that rain in December is common knowledge among the humans-and nonhumans-of the Earth, you are so wrong.
Shocking enough, municipalities in Lebanon, as well as the Ministry of Public Works, are yearly “caught off guard” whenever it starts raining; believe it or not.
Every year, it starts raining around the first week of December. Every year, Lebanon practically floods; houses drown in water, cars sink in the streets, tunnels close because of the high level of water, and our municipalities freak out because, ahem, they did not expect rain.
ِLike every year, after municipalities and Ministry of Public Work recover from their well-deserved shock, they start blaming each other, with the Ministry saying that municipalities are responsible for each area’s infrastructures, and municipalities blaming each other for the infrastructures’ brokenness.
This year is no different than since the birth of humankind. The people of Ouzai woke up Monday, December 9, searching for boats instead of cars to get to their jobs and schools, as the level of water in the streets was so high it almost reached the Ouzai bridge meters high.
This rain most affected the areas of Beirut where municipalities, as always, did not clean underground tunnels for water to flood through them, which leads the water to flood above ground.
The Ministry of Public Work said in a statement: “Given the intensity of the rains, especially in the capital Beirut, and due to the gathering of water in some of its districts and the occurrence of floods, the ministry would like to clarify that maintenance and drainage of rainwater in the city of Beirut is the responsibility of the municipalities, especially the Municipalities of Beirut, and not the ministry.”
It is worth to note that even though municipalities are responsible for the undergrounds of sub-roads, the Ministry of Public Work is responsible for the undergrounds of highways like Khaldeh Highway and Jal el Dib.
A woman was seen drifting with the floods in the streets in Khaldeh unable to stop on her own. Citizens rushed to help and were able to pull the woman out of the flood after she stumbled upon a car, which was also about to drift with the floods too.
On another hand, Lebanese University has also taken its fair share from the heavy rain. Students were unable to do their biochemistry exams because of the high level of water in classrooms.