Rain in L.A. or HOLY CRAP, Water is Falling from the SKY!!!!?!!

L.A. Rainy
L.A. Rainy

So, yes, it’s raining. Those of you who may have spent, oh, any time at all anywhere with normal weather patterns may wonder what the big deal is. Why do Angelenos freak out so much when it rains?

You are absolutely right to wonder so. As much as I love this city, it’s one of the things I feel is legitimately¬†embarrassing.

First of all, and this is important, all the admonishments to “Drive Safe” when so much as a light sprinkle hits the city aren’t because the roads themselves are any more treacherous than any other city, or that there’s any lack of facility or any drainage problem in a city that doesn’t get much rain, or anything of that nature, at all.

Those warnings, silly as they seem, are because a lot of people in this city have no idea how to drive in the rain. Even those who should know better seem to suddenly forget. Seriously, be careful. People don’t know what the hell they’re doing and there are wrecks. Lots of them. We’re too used to driving on perpetually dry pavement. I’m not saying creep along like a grandma, that just makes things worse, just be aware.

I know Angelenos are world champions at multi-tasking behind the wheel, but now is not the time. Please.

That being said, I Love this weather. If you get the chance, go try out my absolute favorite thing to do in Los Angeles; take a walk on the Venice Boardwalk in the rain. Put on a good jacket, a good hat that’ll keep your head dry and some shoes that’ll keep you from soaking your socks in a puddle and go. (I, personally, have no use for umbrellas, and I grew up in Oregon, but whatever.)

There’ll be almost no one there; just some street kids and the hard core store owners. A neighbor or two, maybe, with their dogs. It’ll be peaceful, yet still urban. The sky will be almost the same color as the ocean. The air will be clean and crisp. Get a coffee or a tea from one of the die hard merchants and stroll.¬†Zen for days. Enjoy.

10 Replies to “Rain in L.A. or HOLY CRAP, Water is Falling from the SKY!!!!?!!”

  1. As a fellow native Oregonian, I gotta disagree with you on the drainage. 20 years in Oregon, and I never saw standing water flood a major intersection. That happens quite frequently here, at least in Hollywood (Wilshire & Highland comes to mind). Granted, I want my cake and to eat it too–I’d rather they fix the heinous potholes on 3rd before they fix the drainage, but that’s just me being selfish for my wheels.

  2. Yeah, the drainage does become problematic. My guess is because rain doesn’t happen too often, so debris tends to collect and pile up rather than get periodically washed away.

    That said, I’m loving the rain as long as I get to stay home. And as long as I park my car far away from any trees that might decide to shed limbs made heavy by precipitation.

  3. I hear what you’re saying, but this is definitely more than just regular rain this week. Lots of crazy wind, my power has already gone out twice and there’s a tree fallen on someone’s car outside and more downed trees blocking the street one block over.

  4. I agree with the above comments (especially Kevin’s), but I also want to add that I’ve never been to any city in the pouring rain where I thought, “Wow, these people sure know how to drive in the rain, unlike Angelenos.” Yeah, we’re not used to it, that’s a given. But I’ve spent a lot of time in Seattle, and you know what? They drive even WORSE in the rain.

  5. It’s absolutely pathetic how people cannot drive in the rain here. I don’t understand it. It’s water, not ice, not sleet, not snow.

  6. The initial warnings to drive safely when the rain first starts are important. Because it’s so long between rainy days here, the water mixing with all the built-up grease and oil on the roads can make them very slick and is a legitimate concern.

    But yeah, after that gets washed away (pretty quickly), it’s just freakin’ wet pavement, not a post-apocalyptic landscape.

  7. @agenttr1 I lived in Portland, OR for many, many years, and there was flooding on a regular basis. 39th and Powell would flood all the time, and that’s a very major intersection. I remember thinking it remarkable that a city with so much rain never seemed to get a handle on the streets filling up with water.

    I’m not an Oregon native, but I can attest that major intersections of its largest city flooded, regularly.

    Which bring me to my next point, to everyone: I never said L.A. has no flooding, that’s ridiculous, I said it’s no worse than anywhere else. Or at least not much worse. First rain after a dry spell anywhere causes some flooding.

    The point, for those who seem determined to miss it, is that what flooding may occur is not the main reason for the admonations to “Drive Safe” when even so much as a sprinkle hits the city.

    Which city floods more is of zero interest to me.

    Drive safe!

  8. Angelenos don’t know how to drive in the rain, it’s true. But it is, also, more difficult to drive in the rain there than elsewhere. For one thing, it’s not because of clogged drains, but because the ground in Portland or Seattle (or Chicago, where I’m living now after 18 years in LA) never gets as thoroughly dried out. Even a light sprinkle will form a layer of water on the roads. But more importantly, because people hardly ever have to drive in the rain, cars aren’t maintained for wet driving. People drive on bald tires and they never change their windshield wipers.

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