We've had our fair share of typhoon's here in our years in southern China. The storms batter the coastline, but usually spare us, as we are so far inland. Usually, the storms turn north at the coastline and wreak havoc on neighboring Fujian province with winds and floods.The worst we get is a load of rain and some isolated flooding.
We were in Hong Kong in 1999 when Typhoon Sam struck, leaving us stranded over night as ferry and even train service was shut down in the wake of the storm. While the storm was powerful and shut down most of the city, a bare amount of services were still available; bars, restaurants and the subway. I can remember running from the hotel door to the subway entrance and standing on an empty platform for 5 minutes, awaiting the train. Once inside the train, it was creepily empty of people. We arrived at Pacific Place mall and found the only business open in the mall was Dan Ryans. When we returned to the hotel, the storms had quieted somewhat, but the grainy pictures on our TV showed us a plane had overturned on the runway at the airport. What on earth were they doing landing during a typhoon?
Despite all the excitement we had in Hong Kong, back in GZ, it was merely wet. No winds...to tidal worries...just a load of rain. People back in GZ were wondering why we had to stay an extra night in HK...what was all the fuss?
So, that is how it is in GZ during a typhoon. Just far enough inland that the winds don't effect us as much...but we do get the rain.
Last week, typhoon Fengshen made landfall directly over Hong Kong, it pushed through Guangdong province towards GZ. With a sudden gush of air, the rains started...and they came and came. Of course, I am busy at work during all of this. Rarely is there a warning that would send us home during a typhoon in GZ.
My plans were to head north to a factory for some meetings. I jumped in the car and we headed out...less than 5 minutes into the journey, the driver stops the car and checks the right front tire; it's going flat fast. So, there I was...new, fancy phone in hand, in a repair shop in the middle of GZ having a flat repaired during a typhoon.
These storms have a way of instilling memories upon you.
Epilogue: What was merely a storm to us, was a devastating full force typhoon to the people of the Philippines and their loss was high. A sad part of why the storm wasn't more potent to southern China is that it crossed the Philippines at its peak and lost considerable strength as it passed over the island nation.