Sunday, August 26, 2012


YEP, you read that right... 9.03 inches of rain in less than 24 hours! This is my back yard- the water was up over the bottom step of one of the barns, the water was half way up the tires on this little trailer. The rest of the yard was just a pretty little lake! I had planned on cutting the grass yesterday, LOL! Guess that didn't happen! The road out front was flooded - remember this is a turtle-back road, so it takes a lot of rain to cover the center of the road! My driveway goes up a slight incline from the road, so it is also amazing to have several inches of water in the driveway. Here you can see the "wake" from the passing car! Waves in the driveway going up from the road! It was afternoon, but the sky was so dark, the street lights came on. The camera used flash automatically. The carport went under water, as did the back yard. The wind blew a few things around, cat's dishes and water bottles for watering the hanging plants floated in the water.
So what happened? It was not in the forecast... We went from 30% chance of rain to 60%, to this! Durn, several frogs drowned in this stuff!
Did you ever wonder what happens when a Tropical Cyclone is trying to form? It is not a tropical storm yet, not a depression, but it is one in the making. As something like that tries to get organized, this is what often happens. Usually, however, it happens out over open water and we just see the results when it travels inland. Well, this one formed right off shore here and is still, as I type this, dumping rain in northern Maryland and Delaware, southeastern PA and NJ. Here, the sun is out and the world is turning into a sauna. It is not that hot - if you look at the thermometer - but it is steamy.
We had a small tornado a few miles south of here... totaled someone's old trailer, pulled it off the foundation, ripped the roof off. Made a serious mess for the person living in it. Numerous vehicles, most of them 4 wheel drive with owners who think that means they can go thru anything, ended up in ditches. We have deep drainage ditches here, some deeper than 6 feet, and with the ditches filled with water (in part thanks to those who dump litter on the roads) and the road under several inches of water as the rain is coming down several inches per hour, it was impossible to see where the edge of the road was and where the ditches start. We don't have guard rails here. I guess they assumed people would use their brains, but, well, you and I know better, right? So, there were too many vehicles to count nose down in the ditches. Duh.
I hope you did not have a problem in the storm.


Sissy said...

No problems for me except all my plants are wilted. Guess I need more practice in my rain dancing,hmm? These creaking bones prevented the raincloud-gods visiting? Oh my.

Your area sure did get an overshare. No guardrails and 6ft deep ditches - seems someone didn't plan/design too well; a real accident waiting to happen IF any nighttime tipsy joggers were to zip/wander through. HaHa

Can you tell us why the ditches are so deep?

ancient one said...

People in Halifax County got it yesterday.. flooding and I thought the weather person said 80 damaged homes...It is raining here as I type...(Sunday) Your backyard reminded me of mine when Beryl came through a few months back. My husband bought more flexible pipe yesterday to try to rig up something that will take the water away from our downspouts.. Try to stay safe and dry...

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Today brought downpours in Baltimore while we were at the train museum, thankfully indoors. That sure was a lot of rain at home. Thanks for the update in words and photos.

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!!! 9 inches !!!! If we were home I could have gone kayaking in the yard. Maybe even all the way to the creek.
Glad to hear that you are safe. Downpours here yesterday, but short lived. Guess I don't have to water the tomatoes for a while.

possum said...

Our Shore is very flat and very close to sea level, the highest natural elevation is 52 feet above sea level. Therefore, when we have a lot of rain, there is no way to drain the roads unless we have drainage ditches. The back roads are all ‘turtle back’ roads, or roads that are 1 to 2 feet higher in the center than at the edges. The bigger more heavily traveled roads are often just slanted to one side or the other, depending on where the drainage ditches are located. It used to be the ditches were only 2 to 4 feet deep, but there are so many more acres of blacktop today, parking lots, strip malls, grocery chains, junk food places, shopping centers, Wal-Mart, etc., etc., that the land’s natural drainage ability has been severely compromised. Route 13, which used to be a 3 lane highway at its biggest when I was a kid, is now 6 and even 8 lanes in some places, if you count the long turning lanes to get in these malls and shopping centers. As a result of all this blacktop, the water has no place to soak into the ground as it did years ago.
A lot of building has been done on land that used to be swampy (Wal-Mart for example) as people buy up land during dry years and then get surprised when we get several inches of rain. So that gets filled in and nature’s means of coping with heavy rain gets changed again. Most of the towns here now have storm drains which get filled with debris from the lazy who just drop trash where ever they are, so there is often over flow there. But along the roads and highways, the ditches get deeper every time they get cleaned out or after we have had a serious flooding situation. The little 2 foot ditches we used to have can no longer handle all the run-off from these acres of blacktop and concrete and so, in order to keep highways and parking lots from going under water, more ditches are dug, wider and deeper, and even drainage ponds at many businesses.
Sadly, there are many who own 4 wheel drive vehicles who can be heard to say, “No problem, I got 4 wheel drive!” and then proceed to end up nose down in some deep water (or in a snow bank, or someplace where they then block emergency vehicles or snow plows. Duh.)
OK, why don’t we have guard rails? Well, I guess VDOT expects drivers to use their brains. There is another duh for you. These major rain storms don’t happen but every so many years, and then in a couple days drain off, and the ditches are pretty obvious then. Mostly it is the impatient drivers who try to sneak by on the shoulder who run into trouble… or kids… or drunks who miscalculate. It’s not like in the mountains where a mistake can send you down a mountain-side or into the river. We do have guardrails up on the causeway to Chincoteague. Besides, the guard rails would impede the ditch cleaning that has to be done annually thanks to all the folks who toss their litter along the highway and the natural erosion that fills things up.