Sunday, April 19, 2009

Trial by Extreme Rain

Everyone from my mother to my friends to my doctors have been telling me to get out of the house with the baby. Well, up until yesterday, I had no car I could trust. So yesterday, Daniel said lets go to north Houston and do some window shopping. It'll get us out of the house and we'll eat lunch somewhere nice.

It took forever to get ready, including a last minute dash back inside to change a dirty diaper just as we were ready to pull out of the driveway. It was starting to rain, and I asked Daniel if we should really go out. After all, driving in the rain is bad enough, but now we've got a new car to deal with.

Turns out I was right. We drove through some of the worst rain I have ever seen in my life going north into downtown Houston. We made it downtown, did a bit of shopping and had lunch. We came back a couple of hours later, thinking the worst of the rain was over. That was true, but the flooding had just begun.

Houston received between 7-11 inches of rain yesterday afternoon. In one place, we got 1 inch in 12 minutes. The local airport got 6-7 inches in 3 hours.

As we drove home, the frontage roads on the interstate were flooded out, in some places the water was 2-3 feet deep and running fast. I saw so many cars stuck in the water. In some places, I saw cars turned around and going backward on the frontage road because they couldn't go forward. So many parking lots were underwater, and there were so many cars that had parked in the wrong place, and they were underwater up to or over the hoods. Lots of people had stopped on the interstate to rubberneck the flooding.

As we got closer to our exit, it was still flooded bad, so we got worried. we've never seen it flood around our house, but it turned out the exit we use was flooded out. We drove past it to the next one down. It was flooded, but not as badly. We watched the other cars and SUVs go through to judge if we could make it.

If we had been in our old car, we never would have made it home through those roads. The new SUV got us past all the flooding and we made it home safely, but it was truly terrifying in some places.

Here's a link to a local news channel's slideshow. Doesn't show any interstate flooding though. Just neighborhood.

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