05 November 2010

the problem with a river running through your school

Obviously, a river running through your school will create a few problems. 

Afterall, a river that violently overflows its banks into the city streets on a Monday morning creates a great deal of chaos and alarm.  As the rain continues to fall and the river continues to run carrying the melted snow from high above into homes and buildings and over bridges and arterial roads, thus making movement about the area nearly impossible and is joined by a couple of rivers in a neighboring province that are wreaking similiar havoc causing even the autostrada to shut down . . . well, then you have quite a situation on your hands, don't you? 

A little bit of advance warning might have been nice.

Thank goodness Monday was an Italian holiday, because having a river running through your school at a meter high while the school is full of children might have created a few more problems, obviously.


The river has since subsided and clean up efforts are underway.  A few people lost their lives during this disaster, a few people remained clueless to what was happening beyond the constant rain and "some flooding" in the center.  (Hard to believe, but oh-so-true.)

While I was helping with the cleanup at the school (which remains closed), Sister Dorotea explained to me that November is always a bad month for the Bacchiglione River and that they have prepared for a possible flood many times in the past.  My friend Angelica dared comment that this happened on the first of November. 

I'm quite certain that after this disaster, someone will be watching the Bacchiglione River more closely, even if that someone is Sister Dorotea because, obviously, a river running through your school will create a few problems.


Silt-covered Glass Bowls @ the School


Another problem with a river running through your school is what it leaves behind.  A great sludge of mud covered most streets and even the insides of buildings.  While the sludge is just awful, the silt, which attaches to all that it touches is by far the worst thing left behind by a river running through your school. 

By the time that I was able to help at the school, the sludge had been taken away.  I spent several hours listening to pressure washers while in constant motion with a broom and dustpan (to sweep water into) alongside Young One's teacher and several others in our efforts to rid the place of the silt. (I think it's ultimately impossible to get all of it out.)

Because a river running through your school at a meter high early on a November holiday morning without warning creates a few problems, obviously.


If you are local and would like to volunteer time to this city you love so much, the details are on the Commune di Vicenza website.  A loose translation:   You only need to show up at Piazza Matteotti (that's the one by the Teatro Olimpico) through Sunday for one of these shifts: 8-11,11-14,14-17.  Be sure to dress to get dirty and bring your gloves, boots, and, if possible, a shovel.  Don't forget to bring your id.  The city will provide necessary insurance.


  1. So sorry you have had to deal with this. I hope they are able to get everything cleaned up quickly. I am glad you are ok and that no damage occured to your home. I have been thinking about you the last couple of days.

  2. Dana, I hope that the clean up operation has been as successful as possible and that your locality is not in danger of flooding this weekend.
    I heard the forecast is very bad again. :(

  3. I really hope things are better there.