Pretty sure my wife just lost everything

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by puma1552, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Nov 20, 2008
    My wife and I are just 60 hours shy of leaving Japan and moving to America. My apartment is empty and cleaned, utilities are arranged to be shut off Monday when I move out (inetrnet already is, typing this from an internet cafe), bags are packed, stuff has been sent home. We are ready and excited.

    But there is a huge typhoon with its epicenter right over our city and we've been getting hammered all day today and yesterday, and the typhoon hasn't shown a bit of mercy--much worse than any other typhoons I've experienced here. My wife's family's house (she still lives there, we were just married in January and my apartment is single occupancy so it was just easier/cheaper to keep the same living arrangements until we left Japan) is literally not 50 meters from a river. The river basin is wide, about 700 feet, though the river is maybe 100-200 feet wide. The river itself isn't but maybe 8-10 feet deep.

    My wife and I had plans to have a very nice dinner tonight, but she called me at 7 to tell me they actually had evacuated her neighborhood to an elementary school shelter because if the river rose 5 more meters, it would flood. She and her family are safe. At first I thought, given the width of the river, and the fact 5 meters is no small height, there was no way that the river would flood and to me it actually sounded overly cautious to be evacuating. At 8:30 I drove over there and had a look and just about **** my pants. The water by then was only 3-4 meters from cresting the riverbank, moving fast, and was the entire 700 feet wide. Problem is, the riverbank is actually a hill about 12-15 feet high from the perspective of the neighborhood side (and is probably around 35-45 feet high from the river's normal level to the top of the bank on the river side), meaning that if the river crests that bank, all the water is going to rush over it and downward and obliterate the neighborhood like a tsunami.

    Problem is, between 7 and 8:30 tonight, the river had risen 1-2 meters of the 5 or so it had to crest that bank. It's now going on 11:30, and as I sit here in the internet cafe hearing it roar outside, I realize it has only rained harder and harder in the last three hours since I saw the river.

    I have a sinking feeling that my wife and her family, by this point, have lost everything...and there's nothing I can do about it. I don't know for sure, but if I had to bet, I'd guess her neighborhood is underwater right now.

  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Sad news, and thought and prayers will be with you, your wife and family
    Hopefully there will be better news as you get reports

    Keep us updated
  3. fireshot91 macrumors 601


    Jul 31, 2008
    Northern VA
    Ouch. That really sucks. A lot. Sorry for your situation.

    Maybe if it hasn't flooded yet, you could drive over, take a couple of important things, and drive them to somewhere safe? Say a hotel room, or something?

    At least you all are okay, and nobody is hurt. That's the most important part.
  4. rhinosrcool macrumors 65816


    Sep 5, 2009
    Wow, that is pretty sad. Before you think about going there and saving some things, make sure it's safe. If it's anything like a tsunami, it can change in an instant.
  5. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Nov 20, 2008
    Thanks, I think the season has long passed to go over that curious as I am, I know better than to try and even go have a look.

    My wife is fine, and she said a few hours ago they said the level had gone down a tad, but now for the last couple hours since it's just been pissing down, so I can't imagine the water level isn't rising.

    Still nothing I can do.
  6. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Just like Irene, except much less is heard from Talas here.

    Just Googled some news/pics. Nasty, . s-l-o-w . moving storm, that just will not quit.
  7. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    The feeling of helplessness is the worst part for you. My sympathies.

    Most important, I hope your wife and her family are OK. As long as they are well, I hope your possessions are safe.

    Thinking of you...
  8. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Nov 20, 2008
    Thanks,'s moving at an agonizingly slow 9 kph. It's supposed to keep raining all day tomorrow and all day Monday, and only Tuesday is it expected to finally pass.
  9. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    +1. Stay safe. Items and possessions can be replaced (at least physically; obviously sentimental items can not). However, life of loved ones or anyone else can not.
  10. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Nov 20, 2008
    Well, the rain let up with just a meter or so to go so her house was spared sp all is well. Her brother and his family, a half hour away, weren't so lucky--their house flooded at 4 AM from too much mountain run off.

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