‘Extreme’ conditions

The fact that the good weather has been holding, and that we have not yet been obliged to turn on our radiators, is a relief both to households and all «competent» government officials who have not yet had to mobilize their departments to tackle all the «unexpected» problems and «extreme» phenomena that occur with the first heavy showers or snowfall of winter… An unexpected shower last week was enough to prepare us for what we have come to expect in this overcongested city – lest we had forgotten the familiar image of manhole covers shooting into the air and flooding roads with water and waste, surging into underground passages and causing motorists to become trapped in their vehicles under bridges, transforming modern roads and thoroughfares into veritable canals and forcing modes of public transport such as trolley buses and the electric railway to suspend operation. Power cuts to flooded substations, problems on the telephone network due to wet underground cables, damage to houses and stores, traffic chaos due to malfunctioning traffic lights – all this because of a heavy shower (and we don’t mean some biblical-scale deluge). And these weather conditions are labeled «extreme,» which can hardly be correct if we consider the frequency with which they occur.