“November 2012…My best friend, Christina, and I were staying in Orvieto, Italy during a very rainy couple of days. The power went out a couple of times one evening and we really didn’t think much of it, figuring that their infrastructure wasn’t as strong as that in the US and dismissed the issue. We went to dinner next door to our hotel, their power flickering as well. Again, gave it no thought…
The next morning at about 8:00am, I awoke and went into the bathroom. No power, no water. Again, dismissed it. Christina and I figured it was a good opportunity to sleep in a bit. But after about 15 minutes, I heard a racket outside; it sounded like a helicopter. So I went out to our balcony and sure enough, a helicopter was flying just above roof level, at the restaurant we had enjoyed the night before. When I took a look around, I started yelling, “OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!!” Christina was asking, “What is it?” I could only gesture for her to come out to the balcony. She came out and started yelling as well. “HOLY SHIT! OH MY GOD!!!
As far as the eye could see, out to the horizon down into the town and up over the highway, was a river of water. The area was completely flooded, the cars in the parking lot, including our rented Volvo, were completely buried under about six feet of sludge and water!
Down in the lobby of our hotel, where we were only two of six guests, the general manager of the property called and the desk manager put me on the phone with her. She told me to gather our things and get ready to be moved to a sister hotel at a higher level, as without water, power, food, we weren’t safe staying there. Had the water risen merely half an inch further, our hotel lobby would’ve been flooded as well. Thankfully, we were saved from that, and easily able to move about the hotel!
We thought we’d be evacuated by helicopter – way cool! An hour or so went by and we then realized we would be evacuated by police boat – still cool! After another hour, the water had receded enough that we were simply picked up by an SUV. Not cool at all, but we were grateful to be taken to a functioning property, right in the heart of the old town of Orvieto. A picture-perfect alternative.
Since we lost the car, we spent the next few days taking trains to our various destinations and really didn’t lose more than one rainy day of the trip (spent mostly on the phone with our travel agency and the car rental agency).
Generally, we took the entire happenstance in stride, and now have this great story (and the photos!) to share for years. We still laugh about some of the extraneous details. What an adventure!!”
– Wynne Gavin
011/100 of #100DaysofConfessions Instagram Project