Rain Rain, Just Go Away Already

Friday, May 1, 2009

Of course, rain is necessary for life.  I know this...we all know this, but sometimes there can be too much.  Such as today.

Pryor isn't known for its drainage system.  When it rains hard, the streets often have standing water.  The City works on it at times, but there is a lot that needs to be done to make Pryor drain fully well. 

Today, Pryor received at least 6 inches of rain in just a few hours.  It started right before I left for work, pouring down rain.  So hard.. it was difficult to see on the way to work.  Sky was dark, visibility down to feet, it was a mess.  Then I got to town.

At the first stoplight, I always turn left, just the like car that was currently in front of me.  That car, at it turned, appeared to sink deeper into the water as we turned, me following.  The water, spraying from both sides as it moved, covered about 1/3 of the door.  The whole street was like that.  Water moving everywhere.  I was a little worried, but didn't have many options.  I couldn't just stop, turning around wasn't possible really and since I needed to be at work, I just went out. 

I turn right at the next street, the car in front of me kept going straight.  Pushing the water in front of me, I continued down the street.  As I was about to come to a stop sign, my battery light comes on.  This means, I think, that something has gotten wet that shouldn't be wet, and the battery is going to die if I don't keep moving.  I didn't want the car to die, not in this weather, so instead of stopping at the stop sign, I just ran it.

Yes, I'm a criminal...I run stop signs.  But I figured if the police wanted to pull me over and give me a ticket in this downpour, well.... so be it.

I ran that stop sign... and the next...and the next...and even the next.  All the intersections were flooded to the point I couldn't really tell where the streets ended and the curbs, sidewalks and yards began.  I needed a boat. 

Turning into the wrong way of the "one way" exit of my office parking lot (yes...I'm bad) things were at least a little better.  This parking area was elevated a bit, and while there was standing water in a few places, no floods.  I parked, got out of the car, and hurried into the office.

The amazing thing was that there were customers waiting for me.  Brave (or crazy) souls like me that don't let a little water stop them.  After the appointment, I offered that they could stay a bit, but they decided to venture on, Dad and I watched as the waters rose in front of our office.

It was just Dad and I at this time.  Shirley hadn't made it in yet, and we were getting concerned.  People were calling looking for her, but still wasn't here.

As we worried and waited, the water rose even higher.  The curb in front of our office is fairly high.  Often when cars park in front, if they pull up too close, they will scrape the underside of their bumper on the curb.  You hear it a lot.  I figured that this elevation above the street would keep us completely dry, but not this time.  The water had risen over the curb, sloshing around over the sidewalk.  And when a truck (don't think a car could make it now) would pass by, the wake created would spread out and cause the water to lap up against our front window, and seep in under our front door.

I've never seen it so deep. 

I had another appointment, and I was about to call her to tell her it's not necessary to come in, when she showed up!  Amazing....

Shirley finally made to the office, but without her car.  She got stuck on a country road, and someone with a big truck pulled up beside her.  Crawling out the window, she got into the truck and they drove her to work, leaving her car in the middle of the road. 

Never in my life have I seen it this bad here, and I've been here, or at least in the area, since 1976.   Ancient history to some....

According to the news reports, all major roads in and out of Pryor (if they come in...don't they also go out?) were closed down due to the rain.  An island called Pryor in the Oklahoma Sea.  Traffic was backed up for miles, people stranded, vehicles abandoned, livestock swimming ... fun for everyone.  Fortunately, by the afternoon the water had started to retreat in a lot of places, so that at least you could find a way out of town.  Or in town... depending on where you're headed. 

We closed the office at 3 PM, as 1) nothing was going on... literally.  People don't seem to care about accounting during a flood.  Only AFTER the flood will we get calls about how to deduct the flood related expenses.  And 2) I think Dad wanted to go home.  It was Friday anyway, and he was leaving for vacation on Saturday, so.....

Rain is in the forecast for Saturday... and Sunday.  There is too much water as it is anyway... enough already.  Go away.  Come back this summer when it hasn't rained for 40 days straight. 

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