As a military brat I’ve moved many times but one of the most interesting moves was in the summer of 2006 when we moved to El Paso, Texas. My mother, brother, and I moved from Georgia to El Paso and while we were driving the long 1,562 miles one of the things we talked about to kill time was how different the weather would be. Georgia is very hot and humid but has a good bit of rain and pretty cold winters. My mom said that El Paso would be different- very dry and hot all the time.
We finally made the exhausting journey and arrived to our new house late in the evening. Anyone who’s made a military move knows that the Army moves your things for you- so we were stuck without dishes or anything until the semi could arrive the next day. We decided to find a place to grab some food and crash on the floor for the night. We drove around town until we found Pizza Hut and called it a night.
That night it started to rain and in the morning we woke up to something we never expected. Our house was on the corner of a road that ran down a ridge and when we walked outside that morning we had a river of water coursing down the street next to our house. Water was flowing so forcefully down the street that it was rolling boulders down the street like they were rubber ducks. Our poor dog refused to go outside because there was about six inches of water in our back yard. We’d never seen anything like it. We managed to tune the TV we brought with us in the truck to a local news station and were shocked to see sink holes popping up all over the city and the Pizza Hut that we got dinner at the night before was blocked off behind police tape. The rain had washed so much of the dirt out from under the parking lot and the foundation of the Blockbuster right next to the Pizza Hut that the building literally broke in half and was sliding down the hill behind it.
In total, El Paso had 15 inches of rain in a one day period- nearly twice the amount of rain the city receives in an entire year; it was referred to as the 500 years rain. Millions of dollars of damage was done in one night and cleanup took months. Many houses were completely destroyed and families had to find new places to live.
In January while we still lived there, we managed to get a few inches of snow and had a couple snow days.
To this day my brother and I have still never let my mother forget how horribly wrong she was about El Paso weather.