Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Stormy Weather

The weather Mothers Day was much like my mood, dark and gloomy. The rain held off until later in the day, but as I worked in the office on the third floor I could see the waves continuing to build. By early afternoon they were crashing over the jersey barriers that separate Atlantic Ave. from the Chesapeake Bay.

At 7pm, I decided to give office work a rest and went downstairs for dinner and a movie. The rain was really
coming down by then, driven sideways by the gusts of wind. At one point around 8pm, during the early scenes in Transformers I looked out on 9th street to see only water. Hmmm. I'd only seen the street fill with water once last winter when I was recovering. I tried to go back to the movie, but I kept looking outside. Every few minutes it had grown even higher. I went out on the porch to take a look. My neighbors were peeking outside their door. "You okay?" I replied I was fine, just marveling at how FAST it was rising. They live in a single story. "You gonna stay?" I told them I planned on staying. I had 3 dogs and 3 stories, so I could probably weather it okay. A few minutes later they were wading to their cars and headed to higher ground the wrong way up a one way street. Ironically, Atlantic Ave. that runs right along the water stays drier than 9th Street.

Within 1 hour the water had risen to the second step of the house. The wind was wild, but I've been in worse having grown up in Key West and weathered a few hurricanes. I called Gary who was at work to warn him that he may need to wade home. He was due to get off at 11pm. I went to bed at 11:30 but didn't sleep particularly soundly. I was more concerned about Gary making it home safely. At 12:30 we lost power. But luckily the house is equipped with a generator. Oh wait! That only runs the 3rd floor of the garage apartment. Joy. So now I get to try and sleep with a generator wailing outside my
bedroom window, no electricity, wind howling, and about 150 lbs. of shaking, panting, scared furry children laying right on top of me. Gar managed to make it home just after 1am. Oh, and did I mention the security light on the garage apartment that kept going on and off ALL NIGHT LONG right into the bedroom!!! The blinds were no match, so we tacked up a thick blanket over the window.

The alarm went off at 5:30 (I had set it in hopes of making it to work...) Nice to know my new alarm works even when there is no electricity. I went down to assess the situation. Waters hadn't receded. (This shot is looking away from the bay up 9th Street. ) No power still. Oh No! That means no coffee!!! Thank God for extension cords. We strung one from Mark's apartment on the 3rd floor down so we could power the coffee pot. He didn't have any coffee, so it was a good trade. Power for a cup a' jo. After that we could at least plug in the fridge so we wouldn't lose all the food.

The poor pups had a heck of a time trying to figure out where to go to the bathroom. Poor Hudson mistook floating wood chips for terra firma and went trudging right off the deck for an impromptu swim. Talk about a wake up call.

The shot to the left is our neighbor Mark braving the cold waters. He walked out in the middle of 9th St. to look at an abandoned car that didn't quite make it through. It was a nice Kodak moment.

The absolute photo op of the day was when a mallard came swimming up 9th Street. This was totally priceless. He clearly was not daunted one bit by all this water and floating crap and seems to be completely enjoying himself. I've left the picture kind of large. If you look very closely he is in the center of the shot. This is looking out from the porch onto the parking pad... I mean parking pool.

The power was restored yesterday and the water receded in the afternoon as quickly as it came in. There is a huge mess to clean up. The landlord had just put fresh wood chips down and they are now everywhere EXCEPT where they are supposed to be. The car is running fine (I was a little worried there for a while.) The ducks have returned to the pond and the pup's are very happy to have grass to pee in again.
All is well now. The adventure never ends!

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