Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rain rain go away

So the ride in to work this morning was eventful.

Thunder storms through the night meant we didn't get much sleep. My Wife was wide awake from around 2.30am and the dogs were soon knocking on the bedroom door when the rain started. The lightning was actually so bright and constant it was like strobe lighting at an eighties disco.

I had a meeting at 8am so to make sure I got to the office in time, and knowing how the locals can't seem to drive in wet weather I left home at 5am. Our street and the neighbourhood were pretty bad, with around one and a half feet of water. It was a shrewd move to take the Expedition today!

I managed to get on the Beltway and things were running smoothly until we came to a bit where the road dipped under an overpass. All the water obviously ran to this point and the 5 lane road suddenly reduced to one very slow moving lane.

Once I got through that I came off at my usual exit only to find the feeder road flooded and a long line of cars stopped, pondering their next move. One guy kept on getting out of his car telling people the road was closed and to reverse back where we had come from (back on the Beltway!). He reversed right up to my car but I wasn't going anywhere just yet. At this point, a couple of trucks made a run for it and tried to get through the water. When I saw they had made it, I moved around the crazy reversing guy and went for it.

I managed to get across the intersection but then the road ahead was even worse so I got back on the Beltway. This may or may not have been a mistake as it was closed from the next exit and all cars were being forced onto the feeder.

Now, all of the rush hour traffic had been forced onto the few roads that were still passable, only the traffic wasn't going anywhere. Just the section of road we were all stranded on was passable but there was nowhere to go.

I'd had to go passed the exit I needed for the office as there was no way to get across to the street I needed so now I had to somehow get across to the north bound feeder and either try and get to the office or head home.

The embankment down to the Beltway, usually plush green grass with the odd row of butchered oleander trees now resembled Niagara falls. The water was gushing down from the streets onto the road below.

Two hours after exiting the Beltway, I made it to the office. The carpark was almost completely deserted (and mostly underwater). A few people finally trickled in but most people didn't make it.

The reservoirs close to our house caused flooding of over 8 feet in places. More rain is expected tonight but I hope it clears by morning.

Whoever designed the City of Houston deserves a medal. He must be the biggest muppet outside of Fozzy and friends. Great idea guys...we have a city that is built on marsh land, and has a history of severe flooding, lets build all of our roads, down under ground level so that any torrential rain showers bring the city to a stand still. I know, let's also throw in regular dips in the roads so instead of all of the water spreading evenly over the surface, it gets deeper in certain places and makes them completely impassable.

Houston is known as the Bayou City. There's a clue in the title guys. THERE ARE LOTS OF BAYOUS IN HOUSTON! Not to mention all the smaller creeks. These will flood if roads are built next to them, and over them, and nature's own drainage system is not replaced.

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