September 23, 2009

Flood


It has rained for about a month here. There hasn't been rain every day, but for the most part it has been overcast and rainy most of the time. The other day saw some places around here getting fifteen to nineteen inches of rain.

There has been massive flooding around this area.

I have two ways of crossing the Chattahoochee river to get to work. One of those bridges is currently washed out, the other is in danger of washing out as the river is expected to crest at it on Friday afternoon. This week at work has seen runs on area grocery stores that are still open, for bottled water since the water hasn't been working. Traffic has been a nightmare as parts of interstate twenty west of Atlanta are still closed, flooded out. Portions of the perimeter, I-285, around the city were closed, where the river had risen to flow over it. Yesterday a guy was on his way here from downtown to drop off a trailer and it took him almost three hours to make the thirty minute drive. People coming to Atlanta from Alabama are being told to get off the interstate and head toward Newnan, where I live, and then back north to the city, to avoid the flooded areas. The bridge they are using is just about the only way left at this point to cross the Chattahoochee that isn't currently closed. Everywhere I go I find the same thing, people huddled around not knowing how to get home. Businesses are closed, schools are closed, stores are out of stock on many things.. it is a mess. Even the UPS driver couldn't make it for his daily pick up yesterday.

On the way home yesterday I was turned around due to closed roads and sat in lots of traffic... When I finally reached the river crossing I was faced with eight mile back ups of people from all over the area trying to find a way to get across the river. There were cars from all over. I saw tags from every county in the metro area in line awaiting a clear way home.

Even Six Flags is under water...

When I crossed over a smaller river on the way home, there were people running all over the bridge, emergency vehicles parked on both sides, people hanging off the side... I thought, "Great.. they're shutting this down too..." When I got closer, I heard the woman in front of me ask one of the people on the bridge what was happening and she yelled, "There's some one in the river!".... My blood ran cold and I drove on....

That was the harshest thing I've experienced in a while. I watched the local news when I got home and saw the parents of a two year old weeping as they spoke of their son being washed from his fathers hands as the flood raged around them. These people lost their lives in the past couple of days here:

Preston Slade Crawford, 2, of Carrollton, drowned after being swept from his father’s arms when a surging creek ripped apart the family’s mobile home early Monday.

Nicholas Osley, 14, of Chattooga, drowned while swimming in the rain-swollen Chattooga River.

Donald Warlow, 50, drowned after car swept off roadway.

Kevin Hodges, 29, drowned after car swept off roadway.

Kelley Smith, 29, drowned after car swept off roadway.

Delina Weathers, 26, drowned after car swept off roadway.

Emeteria Howe, age unknown, drowned after car swept off roadway.

Richard Butler, age unknown, drowned after car swept off
roadway.

It has been a hard few days to witness, and I have seen and heard things that have disturbed me. The only thing I have lost during all of this has been a couple of trees across my driveway and time in traffic. We lost some equipment we had stored in an airplane hangar, three printing presses and a paper cutter, the owner of the hangar lost a couple of planes and a car... Yet the waters around here are starting to recede, the roads are opening and life goes on..

9 comments:

Cat said...

So glad you and yours are safe. What a mess. Thinking about all the families who lost loved ones and precious possessions.

HeartofGoldPlate said...

Chicago is bone dry. Come on up and get away from it all.

Eve said...

We at least should learn something from this- that disasters can happen in an instant, and that we should have a plan and be prepared, i.e. water storage, food supplies. Nothing really prepares you for death though and my heart goes out to those families.

Junebug said...

Glad to hear your family is fine.Nothing makes you feel better then to see the rain stop and the water going down.

John Pender said...

We didn't get it that bad up my way, but down in Gwinnett...
I'm happy my house sits where it does. The river is only a few hundred feet from my back door but the hundred year flood plain doesn't even cross my property line.

Just me... said...

I'm glad that you all are okay.. :)
Over and over and over again, everyone says, 'don't drive in water' and yet, every time there's flooding, people do it and then end up dying.. I guess you can let them hear it but you can't make them listen to it..
Stay safe... :)

Kokopelli said...

Glad, you and you're family are safe. And my thoughts got to the families who lost loved ones.
Here we could use some rain, as it is dry, dry, dry.

Dana said...

I have not been paying attention to national news and was not aware of the flooding until Tuesday night.

I'm glad you and your family are safe, but the reality of how "isolated" we all are in our own little worlds really hit me with this one.

Deb said...

Wow, I heard about this on the news. I hope you and your family are ok. Prayers & thoughts out your way...