The rainy season has now officially started, weather experts confirm.
And, once again, the first severe storms in the metro area indicate that flooding will continue to be a major issue for Tapatios over the next few months.
Locals have become resigned to the perennial flooding despite politicians’ repeated promises that steps are being taken to reduce the problem. Last year, nearly $US6 million were spent on works designed to prevent persistent flooding at the yellow Millennium Arches and around Plaza del Sol, two of the worst-affected zones in the city. Predictably, Sunday’s storm – the first really heavy one of the year – inundated both zones.
Water build-up in the Lazaro Cardenas and Mariano Otero underpass (running under the arches) reached over a meter high, trapping several vehicles and causing a long backup of traffic. This is despite the installation of a 1.5-meter-wide drainage colector last year that was reported to have the capacity of whisking away 5,000 liters of water a second.
Also to no avail was a much higher sum spent on two colectores installed under Avenida Lopez Mateos in 2018. Sunday’s storm flooded out a 100-meter stretch of the important artery, running from Avenida las Rosas, past a shopping mall, and on to the southern leg of the avenue. Images posted on social media sites showed various cars almost fully submerged in the flooding.
Zapopan authorities reported that 21 trees fell during Sunday’s storm and several passengers needed rescuing after finding themselves trapped in their vehicles on Avenida Patria.
All drivers are urged to take special care during metro-area rainstorms, especially avoiding underpasses that can flood rapidly. Parking one’s vehicle and sitting out the storm in a safe area – preferably not beneath large swaying trees – is often the savviest advice.