rain delay {still + life}

Oh best laid plans. Remember how I was going to tell you what I did last summer? Well, that doesn't start today. No internet all day yesterday has left me behind and scrambling. There were also those storm clouds gathered above. I love going to my river when it rains.

It started pouring in the minutes before I was meant to leave to pick Cal up from school yesterday. I was debating leaving early when my phone buzzed with a Flash Flood Alert. It scared the beagle so much that I had to drag her from the top of the stairs before I left. She was shaking like a leaf. Watching the water bucket from the sky, I did decide to leave early, and turns out, it was a good call.

I've written many times about the flooding our city endures during storms (I've done a quick search for you here.), and each year, it seems the situation gets worse. The storms are bigger, the roads flood faster and deeper, and the water stays higher longer. Cal's school canceled all afternoon activities, and even as we pulled out of the parking lot, I was dreading getting home.

I bypassed the freeways (I could tell they were already backed up) for surface streets. I still think this was a smart choice, even though we drove through standing water most of the way. We'd decided to pick Neel up on the way home (no way our elderly Mini Cooper would cope with this high water), and we had inched our way close to the medical school where he works when Cal said, "whoa."

The intersection in front of us was totally flooded out, two cars stranded with water up to the roof line.

Time to turn around.

I headed a few blocks further into town before trying again, but no. Another intersection blocked, this time by a police officer who was parked in front of more flooded cars. At this point I really wondered how I was going to get to Neel and get us home. We tried one last time and were the last cars to make it through this final intersection, as an officer only let vehicles turn and not go straight. He was setting up flares to block the road as we just made the last green light.

It took an hour and a half to get home, and I was cranky for the rest of the night.

I woke up at 1AM to hear heavy rain falling again, and when I got up at 4:45AM, it was pouring. Our street was flooded, tunnels were flooded, freeways were closed, and I can't for the life of me understand why they didn't delay school. We got Neel into work no problem, but when I took my normal route home, I had to turn around again.

We're meant to get more rain throughout the day, and the beagle won't come out of her crate. Time to tuck in.

weekend recap, may 19

Well. We knew it was supposed to rain on Friday, but seriously, people? One of those crazy mornings. As soon as Cal was supposed to leave the house to head over to his carpool, the skies opened (fortunately, his ride drove to our driveway to pick him up!), and then it didn't stop. Neel was staying home a bit to meet with a guy for our bathroom, and we knew pretty sharpish that he was going to be stuck there for awhile. (Mini Cooper + Flooded Street = No Good.)

We alternated between canceling meetings (Neel), making a salad for a lunch I hoped to get to later (me), watching all of the flooding in town on the news (both of us), and watching all the bozos go plowing through our street, thinking their cars could beat the water (both of us). As a weather watcher I follow on Twitter said, "Pro tip: your car is not a boat."

I've talked about our street flooding before. We're lucky. Our home does not require flood insurance, and we sit on a bit of a rise, so that the street floods rather than the houses or even the yards. What we've noticed in the decade+ that we've lived here is that these flood-producing storms happen more regularly (generally the street floods the worst when coupled with a high tide), and that the water is rising higher and lingering longer. We have little ways to monitor the water, and last week's flood was higher than any we've had other than a hurricane. It's no wonder. Six inches of rain fell in three hours. Once we managed to get out of our driveway (when the water north of us had receded a bit), it was still a struggle to get through downtown.

I have to say, it's fun to watch these floods (especially the idiots stalling their cars), but it's not very encouraging. A sinking city and worsening storms don't make a good combination.

By the time I got home that evening, the sun was out and the street was dry.

And you know what? Norfolk is still pretty freaking cool. I slid down to Ghent on Saturday to take some photos for a friend of mine who was catering a wedding, and right out front, in our Hague, looms our giant visitor. I'll admit, I was skeptical, but you know what? That duck is flipping awesome. He's here to celebrate the grand re-opening of our local art museum (closed for over a year for renovations), and droves of people were coming into town to see him. The Norfolk Police were happy and helpful as we located parking, and I anticipate that this won't be the only time we head down for some fun shots.

Sunday, Funday, baseball at the beach. We're almost ready to start the week.