RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY

AND TAKE THE TORNADOES WITH YOU…

Today was a long, long day on the switchboard. Not only do we have two major events this week (plus a church wide dinner Sunday evening) and the Christmas program in 3 1/2 weeks, but Houston began to flood around 11 a.m. this morning, shortly following the first tornado in Sugar Land (southwest suburb of Houston). Therefore, in addtion to the high volume of calls I usually get, I received phone calls from panicked parents and people with events scheduled for the evening.

The church I work for usually gets “flooded in” during heavy, heavy rains. The freeway and access roads all flood, our parking lot floods, and the surrounding streets flood, and nobody can get in or out. It was reported, shortly before 1 p.m. that the access roads were flooding, but they made us stay at work, thinking, if the rain let up, we would be able to exit the parking lot by 4:30 p.m.

So… at 3 p.m. many people (esp. parents — we have a daycare and elementary/middle school) became genuinely concerned that we were all stuck there and they couldn’t get through. I was upset because people were told to leave at that point (though they had to stay b/c there was nowhere for them to go) and I wasn’t. UGH… and I’m part time and I need EVERY hour I can get… so I didn’t put up much of a fuss.

Many people ventured out about 3:30, calling me and telling me how bad it was out there, and telling me to send out e-mails advising people what routes not to take. Finally, my supervisor’s secretary came out and told me we were leaving at 4:15 so we’d have some daylight to see to get home. It didn’t rain for about a half hour, which helped the water level go down enough so many of us could leave the building.

Granted, this flood is nothing compared to Allison (June, 2001) during which we got our yearly average total of rainfall (38″) in two days… but slap a few tornadoes on top of all this rain and it’s a mess out there. I have friends who got home 2 hours later than usual, but all are safe. It only took me a half hour or so to get home (it takes 15 minutes) but I live in an area of town that is actually above sea level and not near a bayou.

Another band of thunderstorms are headed this way, but I should be able to get to work tomorrow. 🙂 I should hear some interesting stories when I get there!

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