Thursday, June 3, 2010

Winter Storms Wash Out Bridge

In January 2010, wild winds, extremely heavy rains, raging waters and poor construction teamed up together tearing away a segment of the bridge we must cross to enter or leave San Vicente. We were cut off from all travel for a good while until the rains subsided and the waters calmed enough allowing for some precarious crossings over the usually dry riverbed.

I thank God that only one section came crashing down, it could have been so much worse. The same thing happened in Vicente Querrero, an hour or so down from us, leaving them stranded as well. We became an island as no one could come to or go from San Vicente as there were no roads in or out that were passable.

Daily the crowds would gather waiting for help to come, which it finally did. It took many long days for the workers to fill in the gap left by the collapse. But, in the meantime as the water became less violent and dropped a bit more, people found other ways to get over the river.

As the days passed by and the town ran out of supplies, the people came up with a very good idea. Tractors would sell rides to those wishing to leave. The prices varied, the first time I crossed riding on a tractor it was thirty dollars both ways.

As the water fell even more and became less dangerous tractors began pulling vehicles and people over the riverbed. Of course, this offered more hope and freedom but also charges for those that needed to get to the other side.

Once you crossed, were unchained and could start your engine, you were free.

Eventually the water became so low that tractors were not needed, cars could make their own way across and then in a few more days the breech had been filled in and stabilized. So much so that even semis and trailers were driving over it.

Now, it looks like state officials are actually going to repair the bridge this time. When this happened about 30 years ago, they only left their provinvial fix in place. But these rains finally did that job in. It lasted a good while, but now it's time for a real repair job to take place.

(Click on the pictures to make them bigger)

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