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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Rains Came

This is Steven Petrick posting.

With apologies to our customers to the west, we have had an extremely wet spring thus far.

With the rains have come some unusual local sights.

One of the walks I took recently was found the streets of Canyon, Texas, literally flooded. At the end of one street there was sufficient current flowing that, while I was not in any real danger of being swept off my feet I could definitely feel the tug. Rain had come down much faster than the existing drainage arrangements could move it away, so much so that even though there was only a light rain still falling when I began my walk, water was still racing across the streets (mostly from north to south) in sheets.

Today in Amarillo we found multiple flooded intersections and at least one car stalled as a result.

The playa lake just to the southeast of Amarillo that most of us pass on our way in is almost as full as we have ever seen it. (in the 25 years I have been here I can recall seeing that area even more flooded than it is now at least once). And our predicted weather is for even more rain in the next seven days (all the coming weekend is currently forecast for rain).

Last weekend the rains knocked out the power at the Coles; this morning I woke to find my alarm clock flashing at me, a sure sign of a power outage as a slept. Thing is, I woke up initially at about 0610, and took the time to get out of bed and look at the morning weather radar. Seeing the rain coming, I went ahead and moved a few things to my car that I did not want to have rained on, including reading the morning paper and putting it in the car, before going back to bed for another couple of  hours sleep. This means that the power outage occurred between 0640 and 0858. I really did not think the weather approaching had looked bad enough to cause an outage.

Even so, when I went back to bed it was a case, as I have so often noted, of the joys of being able to go to sleep in a warm, dry, cave as the rain came down outside.

Unfortunately, by 0930 I had to be on the road through relatively heavy downpours and having to watch my fellow drivers carefully. Fortunately I-27 (at least from Canyon into Amarillo) is fairly well banked and there are not many places where water pools on the roadway. (Watch out on the off and on ramps, however.) So while much of the trip was slower (cars traveling abreast as much as 20 miles an hour below the speed limit, neither willing to pass the other and open up the highway, kind of annoying), I had no real difficulty getting into town.

I apparently got ahead of the weather during the drive, as SVC encountered rains so heavy he considered stopping until they passed, except that by that time he was already almost to the office.

Jean is of course (as we have come to expect) just laughing at us because to her this is just a normal sunny(?!?) day in North Carolina.