Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The great flood of '14

 I have a teeny bit of birthday weekend wrap up before we move on to the storm of the century.
The day after Spencer's birthday I changed our birthday countdowns to indicate the countdown for next year.  I only left it for a day (it's now a Halloween countdown) but I thought it was really funny.
That day we also went to Lee's Sandwiches for an afternoon snack.  They have my very, very favorite iced mocha.  There is just something so, incredibly delicious about it.  I also shared an almond croissant with Michael.
Lee's Sandwiches is cash only and we had enough cash for the kids to split a raspberry smoothie and a regular croissant.  They were both huge and there were no complaints.
Finally, Michael freaked all of us out by wearing the Mario mask.
OK.  Onto the GREAT FLOOD.
Last week Hurrican Norbert was pounding the coast off of Baja.  The northern most part of it was expected to hit Arizona on Monday.  Michael and I woke up at 2:00 am to the loudest thunder and rain I have every heard in my life.  Ginger was having a full on panic attack because of the thunder, but miraculously, both kids slept through it.
Michael got up at 5:00 and left for work at 6:00.  If he had any idea how bad it was out there he would have just stayed home.
I did not take these pictures (I got them from a google search), but just to show you how bad it was.....this was about 2 miles from where Michael works.  Thank goodness he got to work just fine with no flooding. 

We got more rain in one day (and really, in about 6 hours) than in any one day since record keeping started.  We got almost as much rain in one day as we normally average for the entire year.
I woke up at 6:00, right after Michael for work, because the power went out.  I just sat there in bed wondering what the heck I was supposed to do.  And still, the kids slept.
At 7:00 Spencer woke up and since the power was still out I found our plug in phone in case things became more emergency-like and I needed to make an urgent phone call and my cell phone was dead.  Spencer didn't know how to use it.
At 7:30 the power came back on.  Elliott was still asleep. 
With the comfort of electricity back on our side we felt brave enough to venture outside.
Thankfully, our house sits up really high from the street.  It was was totally flooded on the sides (but not in the middle).
And the pool was almost ready to overflow.

And one section of the backyard was completely under water.
I kept checking the facebook page for Spencer's school district to see if school was cancelled, because the news was reporting a whole bunch of school closures.  The district never did make a school wide closure, so at 9:00 (30 minutes late) we decided to venture over to school.  It's only 4 blocks away and the streets were OK in the middle, so I felt it was safe. 
The playground was a big old swamp.

We walked into the office where we found total chaos.  Even though the district didn't officially cancel class, the school was basically telling everyone to go home because there were so many missing teachers who couldn't make it because of the flooding and because parts of the school were without air conditioning.
So.  We left.  And drove around looking at the amazing flooding in that neighborhood.

It's hard to tell how much water there is, but when not filled with water I could easily stand under this tree with several inches of space between my head and the lowest branch.

Faced with an unexpected day at home we turned down the air (love you electricity!), put on winter jammies and made the best of the situation.
The kids did some cuddling and cartoon watching while I worked out,
and then worked on a bead project that I had bought over the summer.

The storm cleared up and we had blue, suny skies in the afternoon so we played outside until Michael came home from work.  He was let go early because of how bad the freeways had been that morning.  Things actually cleared up really quickly in the streets around our house so we headed out to do some grocery shopping after Michael was home.
It was a totally crazy and unprecedented day.  I don't think anybody in this state was ready for flooding like that.  We're supposed to get hit by another tropical storm tomorrow, so we'll see if there were any lessons learned from last week.


Valerie said...

I thought about y'all this morning during the Today show. I hope everybody is okay after the next bout of rain comes through. So glad my favorite Westerners are all present and accounted for!!

Sherry said...

Wow! What a crazy amount of rain! I can totally understand how you guys would not be prepared for that. It's like how unprepared we ever are for snow here. It's exciting and nice when things get back to normal. Hurricanes...sigh. We have quite our share of experience with those growing up in the eastern part of the state but thankfully, they don't usually affect us much here in Charlotte except maybe some rain. Glad you didn't seem to get the wind damage too because that can really cause serious problems with downed power lines and power outages lasting days. Ugh! We used to have week long hurricane parties with no electricity when I was a kid and even one the first year Eddie and I were married. :-) It takes a long time to get power back up to all areas because the outages are due to so many trees falling on power lines and that has to be cleaned up one mess at a time.

Jeannette said...

I just still can't believe it. I was really hoping our AZ house would've floated away so we could stop paying for it. Alas, it did not. Glad yours didn't either!

Cat said...

That's crazy! I'm glad you're all okay.