I never understood people who choose to live in areas known for being ravaged by hurricanes. Today, I REALLY don't understand people who choose to live in areas known for being ravaged by hurricanes.
Yesterday, the tornado sirens went off at about 3:15 in the afternoon. Everyone at work was sent to the basement to huddle around the lone television to try and figure out if they were going home to a house or an empty lot.
Okay, that isn't unheard of in the Midwest. It's our cross to bear for not living in a hurricane or earthquake zone. But on the way home after the warning ended, I got a little taste of hurricane.
At first, the sky was nearly clear, lots of trees damaged and power outages, but it wasn't too bad for a big storm. Then, just as I was about three miles from picking up my daughter at a friend's house, the skies opened up again.
The rain, powered by 80 mile an hour winds, was coming down so hard that I couldn't see to drive. I creeped along at five miles an hour through a residential neighborhood looking for the house when I realized the road ahead was covered in water.
I'm not an idiot, I know a road covered in water is a recipe for a flooded out car and thousands of dollars in damage. But I had to get my daughter and this is a residential area -- how deep could it be?
Up to the freakin' running boards, that's how deep. The car was literally alternating between driving and floating. The tires kept popping off the pavement. Luckily, I got through it at just the right speed, not so fast as to flood the engine, but not so slowly that I got washed into someone's muddy and undrivable front yard.
I got my daughter, drove through a couple more areas like that one and got home. I was relieved to see that the sump pump I had fixed a few days before was working (a lot!) but distressed to discover that the picturesque pond usually 20 to 30 yards behind my house was suddenly lapping at my back fence.
This is only the second time since we have lived in this house that the water has gotten that high. Luckily, an hour or so later, the rains slowed to a sprinkle and as of this morning, the water has pulled back a good three yards.
There is more rain forecast for today and tonight. I'm sure glad my kids have had swimming lessons, they might need those skills if this keeps up.
(These are pictures of the commuter train station parking lot one stop up the line from my town. Photo Credit - Chicago Tribune)