When it rains, it pours …
And how true that was for us this past Friday.
We had a low develop right over Springfield so that we had a line of storms continously pass over us for nearly 24 straight hours. Just when the storms looked like they were going to dissipate, they gathered strength and reformed and it continued to pummel us all day. As a result? Our city flooded, including us.
I had to battle the storms to pick up my nephews. I had promised them they could come over and spend the night, come rain and high water.
I had no idea the heavens would take me quite so literally.
The boys and I set out around 10:30. We had to go all the way to Willard, which is about a thirty minute drive from our house. I drove almost the entire way with my windshield wipers at full blast and still couldn’t see that well.
The rain let up a bit as we drew closer to their house, but we saw a wicked streak of lightening directly in front of us and it was within a mile – a bit too close for comfort.
The thunder rocked my car.
As we drove into the driveway and I got out to help my nephews put their stuff in my car, another bout of lightening zapped so close to me, I heard the sizzle/crackle as it made contact. Split seconds later, I remember thinking, “Shit. I’m standing under a tree with an umbrella. I’m a human lightning rod.”
The thunder was so loud I couldn’t hear for thirty minutes afterward. And my heart was pumping so hard I felt light-headed. It was that scary.
We all made it back to our house safely, but the rain continued to fall in heavy sheets. I began to get nervous when I noticed standing water, about six inches deep, all around our house. Even though my husband had had the foresight to dig out vent wells, I was afraid there was so much water it would go over those vent wells.
When the worst of the storm finally moved past us, I went outside to take some pictures. I was SHOCKED to see the amount of water gushing down our streets.
This was our neighbor’s driveway.
It’s a good thing they didn’t try to come home during this time period or they might have been swept from their own driveway.
The water traveled around the corner and entered a huge pipe. The pipe goes under our street and exits in this large drainage system.
This drainage system is about four feet deep. As you can see, we got VERY CLOSE to flooding our ditch, which would have been BAD NEWS for the houses lining that ditch. In fact, you can tell it was already starting to saturate another one of our neighbor’s yard.
I actually took a video of this and will post that tomorrow. While filming, another streak of lightening zipped right over me and you can hear the deafening clap of thunder on the tape. I nearly had a heart attack and high-tailed it back to my house shortly after that.
It began raining pretty hard as soon as I reached my house. After discarding damp shoes and making sure the cameras were still dry, I walked to our bedroom to look out of our window to see how much rain we had gotten up to that point:
In case you can’t read that? It was FIVE INCHES. Of rain. In less than 12 hours.
I thought we had broken a record, but after talking to my parents yesterday, they told me that back in 1999 we had gotten EIGHT INCHES of rain. Their backyard and storage shed flooded and they had just moved to town and a lot of their belongings had gotten soaked. We must not have gotten as much rain over here or I would have remembered it but I can guarantee I’ll remember June 13, 2008 when we received five inches of rain and had to put fans in our crawl space to dry it out.
Getting this much rain this fast is pretty unusual for this area. I was pretty stressed about water making it under our house (and washing away the new driveway we just had REPAVED the day before – luckily, it held up pretty well and we’ve packed some dirt around it to try and prevent any more water getting underneath it), but any damage we sustained was NOTHING compared to some areas of our city.
You can see photos here, if you wish.