This Day in History

This Day in History (1980): Water, Water Everywhere After Two-Day Rainfall

Well over an inch falls in Dhahran, Abqaiq, and Ras Tanura as unusual long-lasting rain comes to Eastern Province.

This Day in History (1980): Water, Water Everywhere After Two-Day Rainfall

From the Feb. 20, 1980, edition of The Arabian Sun

Normally, rainfall in eastern Saudi Arabia falls into one of two patterns — a barely-there sun shower, or a short heavy downpour.


The rain that inundated most of the Eastern Province last Sunday and Monday was different. It was not particularly light; nor was it particularly heavy. It was, however, surprisingly long lasting.


"It actually rained 20 of the 24 hours, though at low intensity — only about .06 inches an hour," said Ron Williams of the Aramco Environmental Unit, explaining that the unit's 24-hour reading covered both Feb. 10 and 11 as "daily" rainfall is gauged from 8 a.m. one day to 8 a.m. the next.


Low as the intensity may have been, the total rainfall was relatively high —1.21 inches in Dhahran, 1.3 inches in Abqaiq, and 1.22 inches in Ras Tanura.


Abqaiq, which had the heaviest rain, could also lay claim to the heaviest rain damage. A total of 79 leaky roofs were reported, among them the Youth Center, the Women's Group portable, and the telephone exchange. Though maintenance crews did their best to pump the waters away, several houses were flooded, as was the golf course, and the Administration parking lot.


Dhahran had 32 leaky roofs (compared to the 100-plus that were typical a few years ago) and one rather unusual incident when a driverless car slid down Second Street and across busy "H" Street on Monday just as everyone was leaving for work.


The owner manfully chased the car and did his best to stop oncoming traffic before the vehicles was finally halted by a particularly steadfast hedge.


Caption for top photo: These ingenious Aramcons discovered how to make one raincoat serve for two when they were caught out in the rain in Dhahran on Feb. 10.


Also on this date

2021 Bangladeshi professor and writer Nurul Haque Miah dies in Azimpur at age 76


2010 On Madeira Island, Portugal, heavy rains cause floods and mudslides, killing 43 in its worst natural disaster


2003 One hundred people are killed and another 200 injured when a pyrotechnics display goes awry and sets a West Warwick, Rhode Island, club on fire during a concert by metal band Great White


1991 A gigantic statue of long-time leader Enver Hoxha of Albania is brought down by angry protesters in the capital of Tirana


1986 The Soviet Union launches its Mir spacecraft, where it will remain in orbit for 15 years


1971 The U.S. Emergency Broadcast System is accidentally activated in an erroneous national alert


1962 John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth aboard "Friendship 7"


1935 Caroline Mikkelsen becomes the first woman to set foot in Antarctica


1913 King O'Malley drives in the first survey peg to mark commencement of work on the construction of Canberra in Australia


1905 The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of Massachusetts's mandatory smallpox vaccination program


1877 Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" premieres at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow


1872 The Metropolitan Museum of Art opens in New York


1792 The Postal Service Act, establishing the United States Post Office Department, is signed by U.S. President George Washington


1521 Juan Ponce de Leon sets out from Spain for Florida with about 200 prospective colonists


You are currently using an older browser. Please note that using a more modern browser such as Microsoft Edge might improve the user experience. Download Microsoft Edge