Saturday, September 02, 2006


Ernesto brought us flooding, wind and rain.
(Click pictures for larger view)
Posted by Picasa
"The winds grow high;
Impending tempests charge the sky;
The lightning flies, the thunder roars;
And big waves lash the frightened shores."
~ Matthew Prior, The Lady's Looking-Glass
The roar of the wind woke me around 5:45 AM; it was just starting to get light and I heard rain on the roof and could barely make out the outline of objects. Max was in his dog house but the violent swaying of the tree limbs and the blowing rain bothered me so I decided to bring him in the sunroom. Max doesn't do thunder well and hates rain. The cats don't care for the sound of the rain and falling pine cones on the metal roof of the sunroom either. They would be fine together.

I sat with them for a while; watched the lightning and the trees bending and whipping back and forth, and listened to the staccato of the rain on the roof. I checked the front yard and the street was wet. The large black trash can was at the curb and it crossed my mind that I should go bring it up next to the house. With the predicted amount of rain and wind, I doubted there would be any trash pick-up today. The paper had been delivered; plastic wrapped and lying just behind the van. But it was raining, I was sleepy and I headed back to bed for a while. It was 6:30 AM.

It seemed like only a moment until I heard my dad call me to come with the camera. His words were actually, "Come look out front; I should have listened when you said it might flood." In an hour and a half it had rained at least three inches.

The street was flooded. Our huge black garbage can had floated away, somewhere. Water lapped half way up the driveway on our side and even closer to the houses across the street. Obviously, the huge drainage ditch behind the house was full and runoff water spilled out into the neighborhood. A large branch broken in the wind floats down the middle of the street. I could hear kids squealing in the streets, t-shirts soaked to the skin, having much more fun than their parents, whose cars were still parked and now almost submerged in the road. A lady trudges down the middle of Hialeah Drive in thigh-high water. She stopped and moved to the side as an idiot in the white truck drove up and down the street, three times. Each time the water pushed ahead of his grill forms a mini-tsunami and the wave brings debris and water even closer to the house, loosens landscape timbers across the street which float away and bounces a now floating Mercedes parked on the street. Not to mention the fact that he risks stalling his truck with each pass.

One poor fellow down the street tried to pull his station wagon further up in his driveway, but water flowed inside when he opened the door and the car either floated down into the street or stalled from water in the engine block. A small car (behind the bush) had water up to the windows. The rain continued, mixed with squalls of high wind until around 2 PM. No trash collection today. No mail today. No pizza delivery today.

The backyard backs up against the large drainage ditch that is supposed to handle the rain run off. The first two pictures above show the ditch as it normally appears; about eight feet deep and ten feet wide with easement on our side of about five feet and on the opposite bank, three feet. Today it was a river overflowing its banks. The water was level with the easement and overflowed to within three feet of the back fence. It was close, but it never came into the yard. The gutters didn't overflow and the sunroom stayed dry.

Finally, the rain stopped; the water slowly receded from the street though it is still full in the ditch. We found the wayward trash can down the street lodged behind a truck. Logs, pine needles, large clumps of mowed grass, a plastic bag of trash, a paper plate, a cardboard box, styrofoam fragments and apples floated up into the yard. Yes, apples; about six of them. Some had rotten spots but others looked intact. I've never seen an apple tree on this street, so who knows where they came from. We survived, actually we were lucky. No water in the house. No loss of power. Just a few unhappy cats who had to spend the day in the sunroom and one dog, who seemed to enjoy his day with his cat friends.

(end of post)

No comments: