The banging pipes and the gassy sounds are the return of liquid after a dry day and evening, welcome noises in houses where people get cranky without running, reliable water.
Earlier, the scene at Safeway was almost reminiscent of a snow forecast, with the shelves cleaned out of water and, oddly, milk.
The pictures on TV of the water gushing from under Chain Bridge down into the Potomac were dramatic, like a waterfall magically cascading from the bridge's roadbed. There was talk of bringing out a road inspector to check the bridge before reopening it to traffic, but somehow the bridge simply opened up and the cars handled the testing themselves.
Conflicting reports on the tube about whether to boil your water now; Arlington County, which activated its emergency center and sent out a series of advisories to residents, recommended boiling water if you had been without it for a chunk of today. The District issued no such warning; best I can tell, District officials didn't say a thing. There's not necessarily any contradiction there, but there's no unanimity of advice, either.
One of the TV channels reported that there were only 600 D.C. residents without water. That's way off--the outage area stretched at least from Friendship Heights to Cleveland Park and from parts of the Palisades to American University Park.
With no official information in the offing, we're brushing our teeth with bottled water. If nothing else, we'll at least prove that we are members of a decadent society that has long since lost the capacity to embrace the elements and stand tall in the face of adversity.
By Marc Fisher |
March 12, 2006; 11:38 PM ET
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