Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Breaking News: All Lanes Blocked!

So we had a really big storm last night. Though I have one (or maybe even two) of those fancy weather radios that sound an alarm when there is a NWS alert in my county, they are not necessary. As soon as a threat of a storm approaches, Lucy the Faithful (8 year old lab) head-butts the bedroom door open and crashes down next to the bed in order to be close to Dad. She is terrified of thunder.

Within seconds of Lucy's entrance, the county sirens started going off. Those things are really loud, but I suppose they are supposed to be loud. Krys & I flipped on the TV radar and saw what looked like 24 circles of rotation headed our way, so we immediately woke Miriam up and headed to the cellar. This was sadly where we had to leave Lucy behind, because neither she nor her tall greyhound brother Murphy do stairs. As I recall now, Murphy never budged during the storm...

In the cellar, which is a place in our house where Mimi has never in her 7 months of living in this house even visited, we tried to make her think this was all some kind of fun game we'd come up with at 3:45am on a Tuesday morning. The wind was at this point unbelieveable - the weather folks on the radio mentioned 70 mph speeds. Things were crashing outside, glass was breaking and we couldn't see out the front door because the water was blowing straight under the porch and into the glass door (looked kind of like going through the carwash when in soak cycle).

But five minutes later it was all over and the rain began to die down. We came back upstairs and I peaked out the front door and saw one of the huge old oaks across the street had fallen and completely blocked the street. Within a couple of minutes a truck driving up the street slid to a stop but not in time to miss the tree. The driver was fine but it did some serious damage to his truck.

So this morning, all traffic on 6th was shut down. I've joked about traffic situations on the city street grid before. All lanes blocked! Guess I'll just jump over one street and go around it. The way our city has grown over the past 25 years, so much of the traffic circulation is limited to one major and maybe one minor route. For example, if you live to the southeast, US 280 is your primary option. If it is blocked, then you can take alternate route Caldwell Mill Road ONLY if you can get out of traffic and wind 5 miles to the west to find it. Otherwise you are completely stuck. The lessons of the 100-year old grid system were lost on the modern planners...

So this morning it happened - my street was Completely Blocked. There was even a police car out there with flashing lights! But since there were power lines lying all around my car, I walked to work. And I still beat all of the people stuck in traffic on US 280.