Monday, September 21, 2009

A Work Conversation

While at work today, outside my windows (which were behind me), the skies were opening up and unleashing a torrential rainstorm which some of you may have read about or seen on TV. At about 11:30AM, one of my coworkers poked his head in my office.

D: Hey Steve...have you looked outside?
Me: Yeah, it's raining like crazy. Sideways, last time I looked.
D: Did you see your car?
Me: No, why?
D: Take a look. You might want to do something about that.

I turned around and looked out the window. Unable to see anything, I stood and walked to the window, and spread open the blinds so that I could see better, as the rain was obscuring everything. Letting my eyes focus, I could make out my car. Unfortunately, I couldn't make out the asphalt on which it was parked, as it was completely surrounded by a rapidly growing lake.

I realize to some it may seem like another crappy Blackberry photo (taken with a coworker's phone), but it was raining so unbelievably hard, getting it in focus was impossible with a camera phone. What you can't see is the water going up to the bottom of my door. I quickly ran across the parking lot to get in and move it. The water was above my ankles, and while running, it completely soaked my pants above the knees. I didn't bother with an umbrella, as it would only slow me down.

I jumped in, started it, and put it into gear. And it wouldn't move. I gunned it, and I could feel the wheels turning very slowly. I began to panic, until I realized I had, for reasons unknown, put on the parking brake that morning (something I never do unless parking on a hill). I disengaged it and moved across the lot, where it was higher. It was then that I saw the nearby storm drain had obviously clogged up, creating a dam. The warehouse manager parked next to the drain, and the water was above the lower rim of the door, and water got inside his car.

My initial plan was to go home at lunch and change into dry clothes (less than 8 miles away). Unfortunately, every road to get home was closed due to flooding. It was certainly nothing like the Mississippi Valley in 1993, or the Brisbane floods of 1974, but for the Atlanta area, this was pretty damn bad. After 2 miles, I turned around and went back to the office, hoping matters would improve later. On the way back, another two coworkers called me. They had gone out for lunch, drove down the road past a Wal-Mart, and drove through what they thought was a puddle, only to find the water was halfway up their door, and they got flooded out. By the time I got there to pick them up, they got the car pulled out, and the local tire place stuck cones in front of the puddle to block it. Another car came zooming down the road, promptly drove around the cones, and then buried their car in over three feet of water. Clearly, a flooded road with cones in front of it was not enough to stop that dumbass.

My car, thankfully, is dry. It took me 90 minutes to get home, as there was only one road open that could get me there. All of the schools in the county are closed tomorrow, so that kids don't get stranded at schools (unlike today). I'm considering risking the drive in to work, down flooded roads, in order to avoid working from home with a 10 year old and 4 year old with chronic cabin fever.


  1. Cool, floods can be funny. Especially when you can drive through big puddles and soak pedestrians.

  2. Wow 15+ inches of rain the last few days is radical. Good luck, drive carefully.

    Hope there's no damage at your place. As an aside I see that flood insurance in the US is an 'add on' to your home insurance policy which I found interesting.

  3. Hey Lou, flood insurance is an add on in many Australian home insurance policies as well.

    Can you send the kids to work and then work from home?

  4. Love instant karma. Particularly when it's as instant as this.

  5. This is Bullshit! I'm over it. Glad you're okay, stay home today.

    I left early yesterday and was terrified the Magnum was going to stall out as the standing water was retarded. Pontooning in today.

  6. Stay as dry as you can, Steve. We've been hearing about the rain down Atlanta way.

    Wasn't it just a couple of years ago you folks in Georgia couldn't buy a drop of rain?

  7. Nat....I'm 50 feet from my beer fridge, and never more than 15 feet from a number of bottle openers.

    Naut, floods can be devastating, destroying lives, memories, and homes. But yes, when you get the chance to drive through water and rooster tail, hell YES they can be fun!

    Lou, if you live in a designated flood plain, you have to buy extra flood insurance (and you have to have tornado/hurricane insurance if you live in a prone area). Depending on the policy, if you're unlikely to ever get flooded, you might be covered.

    Naut, see my comment to Nat re: Beer.

    Yobbo, had I written "Karma Police," it would've been much more upbeat. But, I'm more a student of the School of Schadenfreude, than the School of Karma.

    Heidi, I was more terrified of having to piss halfway home, with nowhere to go. Glad you got home OK.

    YD, yes, our drought was pretty bad. Not California or Australia bad, but still not fun. These storms were weird, no explanation. And it was just LAST year. Now everyone is bitching about the rain, and I want to punch people for their short memories.