Hi, Harvey!

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Tropical storm Harvey made a landing in Ottawa yesterday, right before Labour Day. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds—we just got a grey, cloudy day with constant rain, much like this year’s spring and summer weather. Yet, it felt good to blame our American neighbours for that one. The US doesn’t wage war against Canada but it sends us hurricane remnants, economic uncertainty and bad Hollywood blockbusters.

The effect of Harvey on gas prices was more dramatic than the drizzle it spread in Ottawa. On Friday, I noticed it was priced at $1.32 per litre in a gas station on Merivale. When I walked by a few hours later the same day, it went down to $1.13 per litre and drivers were queuing to fill up before another price hike.

The Labour Day long weekend is traditionally a transition between summer and fall, but this year, I’m lost. Did we even have summer weather? Where, when?

Meanwhile, many stores already fast-forwarded to Halloween—supermarkets aisles are full of giant boxes of candy bags and school supplies were about to be sold out on Sunday night. Last Friday, my local Starbucks was unusually busy with a lineup extending into the parking lot. I was puzzled. “Am I showing up in the middle of the late-lunch rush hour?” I joked when I ordered. The barista sighed. “PSL…” I must have looked confused because she went on. “Pumpkin Spice Latte is back. The official launch this year is September 1.”

Maybe that’s how people deal with the change in seasons—they just follow marketing clues.

I stuck to black coffee, so I’m still lost somewhere between summer and fall.

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey make their way to Ottawa

Gas price on Sunday in Ottawa

Soaked after taking the pictures…

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

10 Comments

  1. Martin Penwald on

    I picked up a load in Houston the friday before Harvey made landfall, and stayed for the night in New Caney, 50 km north east of Houston. There was a few rush of rain during the night, but when I left, the real time radar on TV showed that the I-45 was between two big perturbations. There was rain all the way up to Wilmer, south of Dallas, but I had only two burst of very heavy rain during that stretch.
    Every year, without hurricane, Houston is flooded (let say around from Sugarland to Baytown and Conroe to Galveston), and it was obvious at least 3 days before that it was very slow, thus that Houston will be hit with a lot of rain (the 3 first days saw more rain than the annual average). Plus the fact that local authorities said that it was not useful to evacuate, which gave people a false sense of safety. A lot of mistakes have been made, there. And the city of Houston and its very lax construction code is in part responsable for the level of the damages.

    • Good thing you weren’t stuck in the mess!

      For the story, I was watching French news reporting on Harvey and the journalist interviewed a local woman. This being French TV, I heard both what she said in English and the official translation, the French voice-over. So the woman was explaining her trailer at the trailer park was gone, and the French voice-over said that “this woman was on holiday, in her RV, when Harvey hit”. I was like… dude, she LIVES in her trailer, she isn’t on holiday! 😆 The concept of trailer park is unthinkable for France 2, apparently. Americans must be rich and live in big houses.

  2. your cloudy sky picture somehow depressed me.I hate to see cloudy sky.
    My friend who lives in Dallas said they run out of gasoline. Reading Mr Penwald’s comment, it must be disaster in Texas.
    anyway, I laughed of the joke on your first paragraph.I wonder the relationship between the Americans and their northern neighbors. 😀
    Sometimes we do blame Malaysia for this and that too. But never with Singapore :))

  3. I didn’t realize that you paid so much for gas. I filled up at 84.9 cents because I knew it would go up because of Harvey. It went way up to 99.9 within a few days. It must be because your oil comes from South America. If the Canada East pipeline from Alberta goes through you will have cheaper gas.

    We have had the hottest driest summer in southern Saskatchewan in 130 years. I can’t remember the last time it rained. The grass is all brown, there are big cracks opening up in the ground and the watermains are breaking all the time. The good point is that it is too dry for mosquitoes. I haven’t been bitten all summer. The only bad thing is the smoke from forest fires in Washington and BC. There is still no let up in sight as the forecast for the next week is 27 to 32 Celcius and still no rain.

    I enjoyed your holiday pictures from France. Are there any WWII fortifications at Saint-Michel like the ones at Dieppe? Did you get any of the smoke from the forest fires in France and Spain?

    • Forest fire in France were in the South so we didn’t see them or smell them. And such fires rarely occur in Brittany because it’s so humid.

      I can’t think of any major fortifications in Saint Michel but there are many bunkers left by Germans on the beach. We used to play in them when we were kids.

      The weather is so strange this year… we had way, way too much rain in Ontario, much more than usual. I don’t know what’s worst, floods or fires :-/

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