For this week's adventure, I'm filling in for my brother while he goes on vacation. And I'm doing my own work as well.
My brother has a paper route, so at 2am this morning I hopped out of bed and headed out the door. I was bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to go.
By 7am, the route still wasn't finished. During my route about 8 inches of rain poured from the sky, 6 inches of that is still floating around in my car. (8 inches isn't a joke either, it's what the weather channel is saying). And as for that 6 inches, that's not too much of a joke either. I was driving around, for 3 and a half hours with the window down. As if that wasn't enough, at one point from the houses on my right, to the houses on my left, all I could see was water, and through the torrents of rain I made out two reflectors which I prayed (and boy did I pray) were marking the right side of the ditch, and not the left. I was either floating my way down the street, across someones yard, or right over the ditch itself. From the safety of 9:42am, I really don't care. At one point, the road became road again, and my wheels drove me on.
It was a morning. Let me tell you that.
Unfortunately, by 7am, I had to stop. The city streets were even worse because the rain was still pouring down and some of the houses, unless I industriously decided to walk their newspaper to them, were just going to have to be out of luck.
But by that time, the highway (my route home) the street to the highway, and the interstate (another method of getting to the highway) were all closed due to flooding. I was stranded, sopping wet, 15 miles from home.
So I'm sitting here, (still stranded) at my office. I've opened up the office despite the fact that I look, feel, and probably smell like a recently drowned rat. My co-worker is stranded at home, and I'm sitting here at work, damp, with the heater on trying to not catch a cold.
One of the first phone calls I fielded this morning was from the Red Cross (I'm a volunteer) asking if I could help open up one of the two emergency shelters they're opening this morning. And on channel 11 news right now, they're showing video footage of my city, (Gainesville, Tx) with people boating around trying to rescue other people. News helicopters are flying over head as I type this.
It's been a morning. Let me tell you that.
God is good, and I'm happy, even when I'm cold and wet.
Update: 10:45am - They're still rescuing people off roofs. To clarify, people walking in water are pushing boats over to houses to collect people from their roofs. Why? Why don't these people just get down and walk to safety? Some of these people have a (now) dry front porch. If they're afraid of the water sweeping them away (it appears to be less than knee deep on the one particular section the news is focused on) why don't they take their children from the hot roof, and put them on the porch?
Update: 11:00am - News report if you want to see it. And video
Update: 11:30am - I'm still wet. Channel 11 news has begun showing reruns of old rescues, and finally a commercial. Things must be winding down.
Update: 3:57pm - I'm finally dry. The news helicopters are still circling around like vultures. I drove down the highway this afternoon and discovered a local grocery store's parking lot (a section of it, not the whole thing) pulled apart just like a jigsaw puzzle. Standing water still fills the medians so they look like huge pools in the middle of the highway. Cars and firetrucks, ambulances, police cars, in multitudes everywhere. And in unrelated news.