Coming from a country where two days of sun is a drought and a flake of snow can wipe out public transport, Tenerife always impresses me with its resilience. Being a mere volcanic spec in the Atlantic we are bound to get some bad weather now and then and thunder, lightning, and industrial amounts of rain have swept across the western Canary Islands this last week.
It’s tough to suddenly switch the relaxed sun and beach mind set to caution and care and not helped when the rumour mongers inject a bit of panic. The Tenerife and Canary Islands governments are pretty clued up these days and use social media to keep people up to date with the changing situation. At local level the Arona council that covers my Los Cristianos home made sure everyone knew about the very heavy rain, and high winds that AEMET, the Met Office, had predicted, they even had warnings on the palm trees. The storm broke a little later than expected but it was full of rage as thunder pounded the air and lightning split the skies. Thankfully down my way the winds of up to 90 km per hour didn’t come with it but it was still wild enough.
The Titsa public bus service managed to run pretty near a full service over the two worst days and even the inter island ferries made most of their runs. While keeping up with this the government and emergency services had to take time out to deny rumours of a mass evening power shut down and also a Spanish digital newspaper claimed a category three hurricane was heading in and the government was covering it up. Time proved how silly those two little gems were but they could have caused quite a panic.
Anyway morning arrived and the thunder and lightning had faded and the torrential rain gradually morphed into cloud and then sunshine. During the previous days lull in the storm the councils clean up brigade had made one aborted attempt to clear the road outside my block, dirt and rocks had formed large ridges down the centre and sides and a large pool of debris at the roundabout. With the rain finally fizzling out the team were back to dig in and remove tons of rubble. A walk down to the coast produced a similar story, dirty rivers of rain had cut a swathe through the sand at the old Los Cristianos beach and that was already being cleaned up and raked flat again. Piles of washed down rubbish and trees were collected together for removal and the tractors graded the sand further along.
It was as always a brilliant effort by all concerned and from what I hear it has been mirrored at other points around the island. I have always found it annoying that high earners justify each others inflated wages saying you need to pay big money to get the right people – somehow it never applies to those lower down the pecking order. For me the cleaners, road menders, gardeners and others that ensure Tenerife always shows its best face are a special breed worthy of the highest praise. Every fiesta, every public holiday, and every extraordinary weather day they are straight into action to get the island back to its best. Good riddance to the storm, welcome back to he sun, and a massive thank you to the people who mopped up after natures little party.