Thursday, September 24, 2009

And the rain came down, down, down…

“Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink…”

I was startled awake about 1am Monday morning. Startled is quite the word. The thunder rolled and rolled and rolled. My windows rattled. The house shook. The floors vibrated.

By 2:30 am it was a house party. With everyone awake. Except my husband who could sleep through anything. And does.

The thunder was deafening. But what was scary was the lightning. It felt like the storm was right on top of our house. The lightning strikes were so close. And they were so frequent. And bright. That our light sensitive street lamps went out in a confusion over daylight and the light from the lightning.

The thunder. The lightning. And then the rain. Wow. The rain. Normally when you think about thunderstorms. They are often gone as quickly as they pop-up. The down pour might be torrential. But it’s over pretty quickly. But this rain. Unreal. There was no wind to drive it on. It – again – seemed to sit on top of our house. And sit. And sit. And sit.

For five hours it sat. Sat so loudly no one could sleep. And just when you thought the storm was dissipating. The thunder and lightning seeming to get further apart. It didn’t. And it seemed like a new wave had arrived. But the wind that was non-existent didn’t blow it in. It just kept coming. Down, down, down.

The ferocity must have died down around 5:30. That is the last time I recall looking at the clock. Until 6:45 when Michael woke me up to say that our county had delayed schools by 90 minutes.

When he told me that. I really could not comprehend WHY schools were closed or delayed. It was just a horrid thunderstorm. That kept me up all night. I was curious to see what our creek looked like in the light of day. But school closing did not make sense.

Until I turned on the news. And saw some of the same images you have probably seen by now. Of neighborhoods underwater. Of neighborhoods cut off because of washed out roads. Of amusement parks underwater. Of major highways under water. Disconnecting people in this HUGE metro area.

It even made hummingbirds think that they were moths.My little city in the ‘burbs got almost 12 inches of water in a six hour period. 12 inches! That number is still astounding to me.

So what does 12 inches of water do? Well. Let’s have a little perspective. We live on a pretty big piece of property. And at the border is a creek.

This is what it typically looks like.

And this is what it looks like after a lot of rain.
And this is what it looks like after 12 inches of rain.
The girls have a red playhouse. It is on stilts. Cemented into the ground. With a slide coming out. This is what it looked like after 12 inches of rain.
But those waters. Well. They kept rising. And by the next morning. Well. That inundated playhouse. I actually thought it was washed away. But it was just completely under water.

We have a shed (it's the green building on the left of the above photo). Fine Monday morning. But by Monday night. Had about 5 feet of water inside. With a slight recession this morning. (you can see the flood line on the side of the building)I haven't brought myself to even go in there yet.

And our neighborhood. Well. The creek crosses the main road twice.(see those three figures in the water? Three boys. Playing in the nasty flood waters. MRSA cases in waiting...)Both areas unpassable. Except by boat.(the above picture was taken Tuesday and you can see that the waters had receeded alot already. Look at the mud line on the hedge on the right side of the photo...)

I lived on an island until late Tuesday night. And now the clean up begins. We were fortunate in that we are all fine. Our yard is a big sludgy mud puddle. Our basement is damp. But hopefully with some blowers and dehumidifiers the smell will disapate. I am ready for the drama of this year to be over.

So...what about you? Have you had to deal with flooding? Other natural disasters? General drama??

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40 comments:

Karen said...

Oh my! I'm so glad you and your family are safe!

Becky said...

We were fortunate enough not to have any damage at our place. However, my commutes have about double as I HAVE to cross the Yellow River to get to work and most of the bridges are out or closed for inspection.

texcindy said...

Seems like an elaborate scheme/excuse not to call me on my birthday. Thanks!

texcindy said...

ok, seriously now, that looks really scary. I cannot imagine a river in my neighborhood that came overnight. Your Mom wasn't kidding about building an ark! This leads me to wonder if the forecasters knew this much rain was coming or not?

Elena said...

Oh my word!!! I am SO glad you were able to get some pictures up today. Your poor shed. Your poor playhouse. Your poor basement. Ughhh....you poor thing!!! I'm so glad that is all the damage that was done and that you were all safe.

SKELLER said...

yikes!!! that's a whole lotta water!!! your pictures tell quite a story...
stay safe!

Samvach said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you have had such a hard week. I am glad that your family is safe, though, and you have minimal damage to your home. You will have to let us know if the shed and the playhouse survive!
Take care!
Samantha

Tam said...

I was worried about you guys. I am glad you did not get to much damage.

Susie said...

Those pictures are incredible!!! Be safe!

CaraBee said...

I've thought about you Georgia folks so much this week, wondering how you fared. Don't you have a pool, too? Is that okay?

I have a story for you, if you'll indulge me. I was born and lived the first five years of my life in Atlanta. My parents lived there a couple of years before I was born, although they were originally from Kansas, which is where we moved back to when I was 5. Before they got pregnant with me, they had a storm somewhat like this one. My mom was on her way home late at night from work as a nurse and while crossing a low bridge over a creek, a flash flood swept her in her car away. She was carried for two miles before she was able to get out and make her way to the side of the creek. Stripped nearly naked by the current, soaking wet and covered in mud, she walked to the closest farmhouse for help. They wouldn't open the door for her, so she walked, barefoot, to the next, where they brought her in and showed her kindness. It was a miracle she survived that night.

You don't mess around with water.

Michelle said...

Wow that is impressive. I'd heard the stories about the flood and the dangers of it and the extremity of it, but wow. Wow. So glad you're all safe, and good luck with the cleanup!

Shannon said...

WOW. I can't even imagine. There were some places around here that were flooded... and sadly, the area of town that was hit had a lot of homes damaged where people rented. And of course, none have renter's insurance.


Oh, and the thought of those boyes playing in the water makes me throw up a little in my mouth {gag}

Wendy Hawksley said...

I had heard about flooding in the U.S. but we don't get normal news here.

Wow. That's alot of rain and water!

Never had to deal with flooding... Just a few hurricanes and tropical storms, which were no big deal where we were.

Stay safe and dry!

Jenny said...

That is amazing!
Poor you with the clean up.

We just had a dust storm this week. Unusual for Sydney dwellers - not for those in country areas. A result of years of drought down under.

Heather said...

I grew up in a flood plain, where we couldn't even have basements, the flood waters came so often. But never into the house, by the grace of God, I guess.

In that same house, we survived a tornado. When I was 16 years old. Did I mention we had no basement? Miracle that no one was hurt, other than some scratches, 'cause most of the house was ripped away. When I can scan some pics from my mom, I'll do a post about it.

So glad you're okay. Lula sent us some flood pics...holy cow. Water is so scary when it's out of control like that. Hope the cleanup goes quickly. Need some Febreeze?

Brandy said...

OMGosh! That's just craziness. Glad to hear everyone is okay though.

Debbie said...

I'm so sorry you all had to deal with that. We have flooded in the past and it is such a terrible ordeal. I wish you all the best.

gramma2many said...

I remember the Georgia rains. Far worse than anything we encounter up here in the rainy Pacific Northwest. Happy all are safe. Now for the cleanup.

Gina said...

Oh My Holy Heck. I was completely new to those kinds of storms when we moved there in 89. But, We lived there for 4 years and NEVER saw anything like this! HOLY CATS!

Now, I live in the 100 year flood plain. We have some pretty good advanced warning systems, but at least once a year we have to move our valuables to the top floor on the off chance that the bottom floor could flood. It never has since I have lived here, but every year we lose a couple of days of school for "safety precautions". Last year we made it through the freeway to my mom's house on the hill just before they shut it down.

Jill said...

wow kat!! just wow. that is some serious rain. pretty unbelievable how 12 inches can do that type of damage.

i hope your basement cleans up and nothing is ruined in the girls play house.

our monsoons haven't really started yet this year - and when they do the rains will be far less than last year. you may even have more than me!!

Brandy said...

WOW!!! I am glad you guys are safe and that your house isn't underwater.

Mom Taxi Julie said...

Wow Mother Nature is crazy!

John Deere Mom said...

Okay. I am done complaining about the incessant drizzle we are dealing with. Thanks for the perspective.

Rhea said...

Build an Ark! Wow!!

jennifersusan said...

Wow! I haven't seen flooding like that in ages...or at least not in the fall. So? Is island living all it's cracked up to be?

Lula! said...

I thought of y'all last week...and of Six Flags. That picture of the Scream Machine, partially submerged, made me gasp!

We survived the great flood of 1994. Vivid memories I have of it...and of walking around our lower back yard, the water up to my chest. Until my father shouted, "There's probably snakes in that water!" I high-tailed it up to the house quicker than I imagined possible.
Good times.

Susan Berlien (warmchocmilk) said...

That looks terrible! Glad you and your are managing. I stopped over from SITS.

Jennifer Haas said...

I am a new follower to your blog, and am here from the SITS site, where you were featured.

I have dealt with flooding, a lot. We live in Houston, where it floods quite a bit. In fact growing up our house flooded twice, it sucks! There is nothing like the smell of flood water, right?

Elena said...

Hey you still okay? No interenet yet or just busy doing clean up? Thinking of you and missing you!

Tam said...

Hope that you are off having some great fun!!!

sassy stephanie said...

So what is the latest? All ok there?

Samvach said...

Kat - I was so happy to get your comments on my blog. I keep wondering how you are - I am glad to hear you are OK, though not without your struggles! Once your life calms down a bit, I know you'll be posting again!

I am definitely going to contact you if I ever need a book recommendation. We seem to love the same books! Regarding your questions on my blog:
***Fringe was a huge surprise for me. I love that show. I have watched Lost from the beginning though I'm always a season behind. I just watch the whole thing once it's out on DVD. I read that J.J. Abrams didn't want to make Fringe as confusing as Lost.
***I can't wait to tell Amber that Collins is writing the screenplay for Hunger Games. She LOVES those books as well and we both thought it would be a great movie.
***I do have "East" on my shelf but haven't read it. I'll have to do so.
***I read House of the Scorpions mainly because I was assigning it to Amber to read to go along with our human body unit. Hopefully, you can see the connection...Anyway, I was very surprised by how much I liked it. For me, it was a difficult book to read in that so much of it made me THINK and was disturbing. Definitely a wonderful book. I will read Sea of Trolls on your recommendation!
***Janet Chapman rocks. Her books just make me smile and smile. I'm not familiar with An Echo in the Bone - I'll look that one up.
***I've only read the first Gregor book so far. That is current assigned reading for my 5th grader. He really likes it. Hopefully, he'll get hooked on the whole series as I plan to read them.
***So many books....so little time.

Thanks again for the comments and I'll look forward to hearing more from you on YOUR blog when you have more time.
Take care,
Samantha

Cairo Typ0 said...

OMG! That's crazy! Freak storms like that used to be common where we lived in the States and it always freaked me to have to drive home lest i get caught in a lake sized puddle. Glad you guys are ok. :)

Tam said...

Hope you have a great weekend! I stalked over just to see if you have recovered from the Big D trip! Have you started An Echo in the Bone yet? I have it but have not started it yet.

A Joyful Chaos said...

Flooding is no fun! Trust that you are all back to normal by now.

Finding Normal said...

WHERE ARE YOU??? (Just checking. Hoping you're just slacking in the blogosphere like me, and that nothing is wrong wrong.)

Karen said...

WOW ... that's a lot of water...glad you are all safe.

Had to deal with flooding and earthquakes. Mainly back in NZ though. We did have an earthquake here, that made a mess in my spare bedroom.

Drama..plenty of that this year. Sadly, the worst of it was today :-(

Tam said...

HI I hope you have been having FUN!
Your Blog misses and your followers miss you!

Tonya said...

Wow. I am so glad you are safe. Flood water is not a fun thing to clean up. We lived through a tornado and major hail storms. Great Photos. Thanks for sharing

Finding Normal said...

Looking through old posts while I watch TV...and I see my driveway! Craziness! I still cannot believe this. :)