Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I Don't Like Thunderstorms Anymore.



Do you ever get that feeling in your gut? The kind that you wish you didn't get? I'm not talking gas. I mean have you ever had the feeling that maybe you should've thought through something just a bit more before deciding to do it?

I had that feeling. Right after I signed my lease.

After the ink was dry, a little voice popped into my head. "Sure, living near the creek is nice," it whispered, "but aren't you just a little too close in the event of a flood?"

"Too late now," I hissed to myself.

Today, that little voice came back booming: TOLD YOU SO!!

Bloomington got nailed today with flash floods. I've never been in a flash flood. I've heard about them, sometimes think people are idiots for driving through water they know they shouldn't and then have their engines stall, really think people who go walking around in flood water have a death wish.

And now I can say I am one of them.

I left home this morning at 8:10, noticed the very high creek, and then thought, Boy, I hope that's all the rain we get today. Ha. Not by a long shot.

At 4:30, the rain came down so hard in all different directions, I thought we were going to have to take cover. A tornado had been reported aways away. But at 5, it seemed things were quieting down. That's when I get out onto the road and have to drive through a trickle of water. No problem. A little farther down, a larger puddle of water. Everyone else is going through it, even littler cars than Civics. No problem. Turn down the wrong road, the main road, and that's when I see Lake Bloomington covering the intersection of 3rd and College Mall Road. Normally, we don't have a Lake Bloomington. But there it was, taunting us all. Great. Now what? Sit like a duck in rising water? I think not. Even though a Passat stalled out, I again noticed smaller cars risking their necks, and decide if it stalls, it stalls, and I go through. Miraculously, my car went through without any problems, but I'd had enough. I went to the mall and pulled in a spot. Why risk death? I called my next door neighbor, and he said that the road wasn't completely flooded, but he couldn't pull into his driveway, so he parked in mine. The back yard was filling, and almost to my door, but I had a few feet left. Forty minutes later, I was able to drive down my street, and that's when I stopped about 5 houses up because the water had risen.

My house was completely surrounded by water. The creek overflowed, and it looked like there was never a small creek, but a raging river. I had no backyard. The patio furniture and little table were completely under water. Had my hammock been hanging up, you wouldn't have seen most of it.

Now, I know you're not supposed to walk through flood water. But how about stumbling and running? In professional work clothes? Well, Dear Reader, that's what I did. I had to save the cats! It's amazing how much you don't think about your safety when you're worried and your mind is in overdrive. I could give a shit about my belongings. They're going into storage anyway. But my precious animals I needed to save. Nevermind the fact that they're cats and hate water, so likely would've climbed on the couch or the table to avoid getting wet.

I finally made it inside, and to my complete amazement, the water hadn't seeped in. Had I opened my back door, it would've been inside. And it's in my crawl space. I can smell it. But the floor was dry and the cats were fine. For all the bugs, when it really counted, this little duplex stood her ground, and I am grateful. I was starting to pack things up and get the cats and leave because the water seemed to be getting higher, but Wiley calmed me down and said not to go anywhere because it shouldn't get any higher. It hasn't.

Now it's 9:30, and not only can I see my driveway, but I can see my backyard. I even drove the car down and parked it, though we're supposed to get more severe storms tonight and I'm worried that it's going to flood again. Let's just say sleep tonight will not be easy.

In the meantime, I have the computer ready to go if I need to make a dash. The cats' carrier is out in the living room, I have a change of clothes in my bookbag, and I've packed up the books that were on the lowest shelf and gotten everything off the floor, should the house decide to flood while I'm not in it (say, tomorrow).

It was such a feeling of helplessness. Can't sandbag - won't do any good. Can't fill bins and take them somewhere. The car's all the way up the street and the current was strong. The only thing I could do was stare and make a circle, not knowing where to start should I actually make a break for it. Thankfully, I didn't have to, and now I'm ready should I need to.

And on a positive note, any little mice that were in the crawlspace are now floating bodies.

I have pictures, but they're on my phone and I don't know how to get them off because I no longer have the option to send them. Once I figure that out, I'll update.

4 comments:

meesha.v said...

I actually was in a flood many years ago,but we were on vacation and it was fun. Little different when all of your belongings are about to flow away.Wow! Glad you made it.

John said...

You failed to mention that this reassuring voice was coming from half the way across the planet in the middle of the night!!!

Melinda said...

Yeah, I guess I did. Now you've done it so I don't have to.

Anonymous said...

thanks for checking in, and glad everything worked out. auntie em