The Hailstorm’s Much-Discussed Floating Red Car Found in Aparicio
By Jesús Aguado
In addition to damage in various parts of the city, a June 30 hailstorm resulted in viral videos and gossip about the storm’s effects on local social media, including the persistent tale of a red car in the Aparacio neighborhood that people claimed to have seen being washed away by floodwaters.
Debate on social media and in gossip among Apararicio neighbors went back and forth as to whether this tale was a new urban legend, since no one could seem to locate the car. But now the debate can finally be put to rest.
The Civil Protection Department has confirmed that a red car is indeed stuck in the stream that stretches from calles Aparicio to Nuñez. According to officials, the Gruas Mercadillo tow truck company has visited the site and determined that taking out the car is going to be complicated. The car is stuck in a narrow space surrounded by much mud.
From the beginning, the story of the floating red car was not entirely unbelievable: the
hailstorm left much damage throughout the city, from roofs collapsing to streets clogged with hail, mud, and debris. The damage was not taken very seriously by some residents. A music video circulating on social media gleefully showed posters from the municipal photo exhibit Faces of Our People floating down calle San Francisco on moving floodwaters.
But damage was consequential in some areas: several businesses in the La Luciérnaga mall were closed due to hail damage, including the Cinemex movie theater. Sewer caps dislodged themselves and were dragged by currents throughout the Historic Center. Calle Santo Domingo collapsed due to organic material that the currents deposited there; local government workers and residents labored together to reopen the street. Flooding and mud also overtook other streets. Many residents noted that the hail stripped the trees of their leaves.
The most damage likely occurred in Aparicio at the intersection of calles Tecolote and Homobono, which was also the source of the red-car tale.
A Homobono resident almost solved the mystery when, on July 2, she heard people’s voices coming from inside the stream saying, “This car does not even have plates.” She assumed that the red car she’d heard talk of had finally been found. She called 911 to double check that the people talking were Civil Protection Department inspectors and not thieves wanting to break into homes. However, 911 operators did not have any information about a missing car, and so nothing was done.
The same night, neighborhood residents decided to wade into the stream to investigate, based on the word of a resident who said that on the night of the hailstorm, he saw the red car, parked in a prohibited spot, being washed away. After going in about 150 meters, neighbors found the red car and took photos of it. They informed Civil Protection officials.
Inspectors went to the site the next day and confirmed that Gruas Mercadillo would be extracting the car.