June 27th, 2007

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Rain, floods, leaks...

You know, when we wanted rain so much last year, about a third of this rain would've been a big help. 

We are not in danger, presently, of anything but inconvenience.  Our house is high enough, and far enough from the creek.  However, the roof is leaking, the containers in the attic have overflowed, so we have leaks into several rooms, including two in my study, one entirely too near the desk....and of course the plumbing doesn't work because the soil is saturated with rain and the septic system can't drain.  Whoopee.  OTOH, we have the other house, where Michael's living, and it's a) higher and b) on city sewage service.  Also, the roof over there isn't leaking at the moment.  (Boy, do I remember the week-before-Thanksgiving when water was pouring out of the ceiling fan/light fixture  in the dining room over there.)   And I got about two hours sleep last night, between hearing storms and chasing drips with soup kettles.

Far worse is the situation others are in...part of Marble Falls had 18 inches of rain overnight (and Marble Falls, for those who don't know, is built on rock...there is nothing but runoff.  They've had rooftop and swift-water rescues (in the dark, what fun) plus lightning-caused house fires in the midst of the downpour (which didn't douse the fire.)  Everything from north of Dallas south and west through us is flooded, with not just little roads (like the small roads coming into town here) but major highways closed.  People have died, and more probably will, and a lot more have lost homes, businesses, etc.  There's a shortage of choppers to pull people off roofs and out of trees; highway crews can't get to the places they'd normally put up barriers because all the roads are cut off by high/swift water.  People living on Lake Travis are now scrambling to save what they can (the lake was technically full...and it's risen four feet or more since midnight and is predicted to rise a foot an hour for at least five hours.  They're having  to open gates in downstream dams, which means the Colorado River (like the San Gabriel, the Lampasas, etc.) will flood through and downstream of Austin. 

So, for friends who might be seeing stuff on TV about the situation here...yeah, we were in one of the purple-for-heavy-rain overnight areas, but we, personally, are all alive and mostly dry and it's SO nice to know that a nice dry manuscript is in NYC, and not here.  Since the rain is predicted to continue for days, and we have no idea what electric and phone service will be available. don't expect frequent updates.  Assume we have the good sense to stay home and out of moving water, and think of us sloshing around in the mud taking care of horses, or up in the attic changing out buckets (wormer buckets do pretty well at this duty), or down in the house changing out soup kettles and other deep containers. 

I don't know why every drought has to end in a flood, instead of just going to nice moderate rain with maybe one or two 4 inch gullywashers.  I feel like the old woman in the joke, who, standing in the garden as her cabbages floated past, said "Lord, I know I prayed for rain but this is ridiculous!"

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