Phoebe vs. Flood


[inuh n-deyt, -uhn-, in-uhn-deyt]

verb (used with object)

1. to flood; cover or overspread with water; deluge.

2. to overwhelm.


used in a sentence: Phoebe’s hometown became inundated with river water and sewage when the area received almost 7 inches of rain inside of 12 hours.

No, we don’t live on the southern coast of the U.S. We are not feeling the effects of Tropical Storm Cindy. We are simply in the midst of a 100-Year Flood.

Yay us.

It started Thursday night and the rain continued into Friday. Even after the rain stopped, the water kept coming.

I can’t complain about too much personally. Our house managed to avoid the worst of the flooding. The fields around us turned to ponds, but our sump pump kept up with the rain. For us, it was simply a terrifying inconvenience.

Within the city limits, however, things were much worse. The river reached flood stage at 24 feet on Friday (shortly after I left work early and got over the bridge that is along my regular route home) and it finally crested yesterday afternoon at 32 feet. In addition to overwhelming the city water system, it cut off all but one bridge between us and town (that one not being the aforementioned most-direct route). By the time everything was totaled up, the river hit the second-highest crest since levels were first recorded.

There’s still a chance we might get cut off completely before it starts to recede between today and tomorrow.

While we’ve had flooding before, it’s never been this bad since we moved here. It was a significant enough event that some friends down south heard about it on their local news. The last time the city saw anything like this was back in the 80’s.

I’ve never lived in a place where flood has washed out roads, opened sinkholes, covered bridges, and filled basements. It’s eerie driving between what you know to be bean fields hedged by ditches but seeing only ponds bordered by reeds.

Since Mom had enlisted my help with photographing a wedding an hour and a half north of home, we got out of Dodge Friday evening and got a (rather pungent) hotel room for the night in the blessedly-dry locale where the wedding was to take place. I feel a little guilty skipping out on some of the clean-up, though Mom and I both flinched every time it started to rain throughout the day. We also kept a close eye on Facebook and the city list of closed roads to make sure we had a way home.

The wedding itself was an entirely different experience I may try to make sense of at another time. I learned a lot, but I may also have become intoxicated second-hand thanks to all of the alcohol being passed around.

The real adventure for our family, outside of seeking alternate routes to and from work and church, is keeping our fundraiser fireworks tent afloat while the city recovers from the flood.

Literally. It was put up the day of the flood and spent the night underwater.

I’m writing this from the tent, water pooling under my sneakers from a brief downpour, while Mom and Dad count our losses (not as bad as they could have been). Mom wanted to watch a movie at the hotel, and then we were late getting home last night, so I’m running on less sleep than I’m used to, and I’ve been fueling myself with junk food and really greasy wedding reception pizza. Also, it’s the last week of June and temps are hovering in the mid-60’s.

It’s going to be a long week.


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