Thursday, July 03, 2008


This probably could qualify for "Wordless Wednesday" also, but I have to add some commentary.
Talking with Don yesterday morning around 9 am, he mentioned he might walk to Blues on the Mall that evening. I said I had heard it was going to be raining some time that afternoon and into the evening. But looking at the radar, the only storm system showing was well north of the area, and another system was west of Madison, Wisconsin, so it did seem doubtful we would get anything, at least until later in the evening.
Fast forward to about 2 pm, and already we were getting storm warnings. By 2:30, it was as dark as night, and very soon after the torrential rains started, along with a lot of thunder, lightning, and hail. That lasted about 45 minutes and then we were in a lull until about 4:30 when it started again.
By the time I left work at 5, the rain was coming down so hard, and it was so dark, it was like night. Water was running in rivers down the parking ramps into the basement where I park and a big pond was forming. And now I had to make my way home through this mess and all the idiots on the road besides, just like in winter storms.
I decided not to take the highway for fear of getting trapped there by some accident or just a jam up, so went through the Heritage Hill section, near downtown. One street was already seriously backed up, and there is no way I sit in traffic jams if I can help it, so I made my way around that only to come upon one street near one of the hospitals starting to flood over. I worked my way through that and turned off as soon as I could, only to again come to an intersection with the traffic lights out, and it looked like a little farther down the street there were some branches or trees down. All this time my windshield wipers were going at full force. Its times like this that I again love my SUV. I kept the 4 wheel drive on for a while, but it was pretty clear that wasn't going to make much of a difference on streets where the water was inches deep.
I finally made my way through this area and closer to home, and all the lights were working here, but there was a serious accident blocking one street. I could see the cars backed up for at least a mile. Once again, no way was I sitting in that mess, so I immediately did a U-turn and got out of that one before someone pulled behind me blocking me in.
Eventually I made it home safely, working my way through the neighborhoods where I run a lot of the times, thankful I knew my whereabouts pretty well. Anything to get off the main streets.
My daughter came over later with the kids. The weather was in a lull for a while at least. The part of town where she lives was hit pretty hard, with one main road flooded out, lots of areas without power, and a branch did come down in her yard. But she still had power. I warned her if she was coming over to be very careful.
A little later in the evening, another storm system rolled through, raining so hard I couldn't even hear my cell phone ring and I was standing right next to it! It was my other daughter in NJ who said they could see on the radar that we were going to get hit with another batch of storms. No kidding?? Hear that rain? She could hear it through the cell phone. We got at least 3.36 inches of rain, with some parts getting over 5.
I know a lot of areas around here either have damage or are without power. I was pretty lucky not to have either. And many intersections were still flooded out, all over town, so there was no rhyme or reason to where you might come upon that. Downtown this morning, when I was running, I couldn't help notice there was mud caked up over the curbs, all over the street, and onto the sidewalks in a couple of areas near a road construction site, where it looks like there was a mudslide. Nice mess to shovel that stuff off! The street sweeper wasn't having much success there.
One area where I frequently run downtown is right along the river. There is a trail system that goes for a couple of miles. I thought at first it might be flooded over, but it wasn't. The water from the river was right up to the sidewalk, but had not gone over yet. Then I got to thinking about all the homeless people that sleep under the bridges or hang out in this area. I wondered how they had made out with the storm. Usually I see one or two wandering around in the morning, maybe another 1 or 2 still sleeping at that time. Today, I saw 7 of them, just sitting on the benches, like it had been a long night. One had his beer in a brown paper bag. Yes, I'm sure it was a tall can. One of them yelled out to me, "if you keep doing that, you're going to get healthy." What do you say to someone like that? "I hope so."


Kona Shelley said...

yeah, we go slammed last night too, but by the looks of things, not as bad as your!

Anne said...

Good for you to point out a side benefit or running on roads: escape routes and workarounds when traffic backs up. Glad you survived the storm and even had time to run the next morning. I'll raise my next tall boy to you!

Running Knitter said...

Glad to hear you are all OK. :)

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Holy Smokes! Those photos say a lot. Glad you made it home safely. Good job getting your run in, too.

Flo said...

Wow!! That looks bad!! Glad you're okay and didn't get any damage. I love to go out running after a storm and survey the destruction.

bunnygirl said...

Wow, sounds like you had quite a storm. I read about the storms on the newswire, but seeing the pics is a different matter.

Nat said...

Glad everyone is safe and sounds. It seems to me the storms are meaner than they normally are this year.

See Zanne Run said...

woah! that looks like it was one frightening storm! we had a doozy about a week ago - got caught at the end of a ride & rode home in a torrential downpour - made it in the house just as the golf ball size hail started to hit!

glad everyone is ok!!!

Anonymous said...

You have had some crazy weather this year, and last! Glad you're okay...I thought of you when I saw the storms on the weather channel :)

Christie said...

Wow. I can't get over those pictures. Glad you and your family are okay.

Marcy said...

Wow that's nuts!! I can't believe those pics!

Lily on the Road said...

Holy Yikes, those are some mean pic's! Mother Nature at her finest!

Glad everyone is safe and sound, even the homeless....that must be an awful way to live.

The storms have been wicked this season! Stay safe,

Happy 4th of July!!!

Sunshine said...

Oh Vickie! That drive home sounds like a real live nightmare. Hoping you don't have flashbacks!
I appreciated your pro-active assertive tactics for avoiding traffic messes. You won!
We were seeing the radar that day/evening.. and wondered how it was going for you.. but didn't know about the wind and quantity of rain until we read your amazing report and saw your incredible pictures.

chia said...

Wish it would have washed away some of the road kill for my 1/2 mary ;-). Glad you and yours are all alright - that was a horrible storm!