Daily Archives: October 6, 2011

East-West Traffic On Interamerican Hwy Reopened

Yesterday afternoon, after consultation with engineers, President Ricardo Martinelli authorized the reopening of the single standing span on the Interamerican Highway over the Rio Piedra to east-west traffic though, from different sources I’ve read, there are some restrictions on heavier vehicles requiring them to take alternate routes for the time being.

Last July I ran a post where I did some crazy math regarding rain water and how it relates to weight and volume. In light of Monday’s devastating rainfall that caused the collapse of several bridges in the area and the deaths of several people I thought I’d do some calculations on what just happened. For those readers who are into the metric system you’ll just have to work out your own math for this.

When it’s said that an “inch” of rain has fallen it means that an acre of land would be covered with one inch of water. According to the U.S. Geological Survey that’s 27,154 GALLONS!

According to Arturo Alvarado, director of Civil Protection System this area received 164.7 mm of rain in just two hours. That 164.7 mm is 6.48 inches. So, in just two hours each acre of land around here had 175,957.92 gallons of water dumped on it. There are 640 acres in a square mile so in two hours each square mile received 112,613,068.8 gallons of rainfall. Thats ONE HUNDRED TWELVE MILLION, SIX HUNDRED THIRTEEN AND SIXTY EIGHT POINT EIGHT GALLONS, FOLKS!

It’s about 23 miles from the Interamerican Hwy to Potrerillos Arriba. Going up to the mountains behind us add another five or six miles so let’s just give it a round figure of 30 miles. Taking a rough guess looking at Google Earth it’s about 15 miles from Potrerillos Arriba over to Volcan. The bridge in question is roughly half way between the two points but down much lower. So, we’re looking at an area of roughly 450 square miles. That would mean that in two hours the area received roughly 50,675,880,960 gallons of rain water. Fifty BILLION, six hundred seventy five MILLION, eight hundred eighty THOUSAND, nine hundred and sixty gallons. Staggering.

There are about 600,000 gallons of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. The two hours worth of rain that fell just in the area I’ve outlined would therefore fill approximately 84,460 Olympic swimming pools.

Now, aren’t you glad you know that?




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