November Nor'easter

IMG_8411 Well, it was nothing if not exciting. It reminded me of those days of my childhood when we were waiting for snowfalls. Watching the weather and the skies. We do that here too, only it never turns out to be as bad as they predict. Until now. This was pretty bad.

The lights started flickering (knocking out the cable), and it started raining on my drive into work on Wednesday.  In some ways it was exciting. Huge flood gates along the river were closed, and already the air felt heavy with anticipation. It rains all the time around here, but my drive in was hard, and half way through the morning a limb fell on campus, knocking power out to three of our buildings. Callum had to halt in the middle of a spelling test. And that was before it got windy. But the skies felt squirrelly enough for me to tell his teacher that if things stayed the way they were, we wouldn't be heading to school the next day.

Driving home was even harder. My car is solid, but little, and it took all of my concentration to get us down the freeway and through town. Water was high everywhere we went. I had plans with some neighbors for dinner out at the beach that night, and while we weren't willing to give up our plans, we didn't want to make that drive. While we warmed ourselves with company and dinner (okay, and some wine too), the wind and the rain picked up. When we were getting out of the car, and the door slammed back on me, I pretty much called it then. No matter what happened for school, Callum and I were staying home Thursday.

IMG_8385 The phone call saying school was closed came around 5:30 a.m. (thanks, guys!). Our local university closed, even the medical school where Neel works, which is simply unheard of. By the time we got up, the street already looked like this. We live in a tidal area, and this happens often. Neighborhoods flood, our neighborhood floods, even during your average, run-of-the-mill thunderstorms, and this combination of rain and wind, had everyone watching the tides. In this picture, our street was already full of water and high tide was ten hours away.

IMG_8407 Neel and Callum had to pull the trash in. Trash pick-up was canceled. 

IMG_8397 Before long, water at the intersection down from our house was hip deep. See that blue car down there? Invariably some bozo will try to drive through and end up getting stuck. Watching this can afford us hours of entertainment.

IMG_8429 And this is a few hours later, closer to high tide, but not there yet. I've never seen the water on the streets get this high.


IMG_8425 And never this far north of our house has the street flooded. Neel used that tree, in the picture where he and Callum are dragging in the trash, as his barometer. That tree, on a little island, and next to it a little tuft of grass, to measure the rising water. If we kept that little island around the tree, we were doing okay.

IMG_8432 And then high tide.

IMG_8431 With things floating in cars.

IMG_8437 For a bit, it seemed as if things were easing up, and in that brief lull between squalls, some folks got adventurous. But by late evening the winds kicked up even more fiercely. School was called off for the next day, for Neel again too. The lights flickered, and I hurried the soup. They flickered again, and we gathered all the candles. For awhile it looked like we'd be spared, but halfway through Harry Potter #2, out they went. That, for me was the scariest part. The wind howling and the lights of transformers flashing in the distance. We went to bed in the dark, with the wind howling around our heads.

Part two, the damage, will have to wait until tomorrow, I'm afraid. I have lots to show you.