Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rising Flood Waters, Black Outs, and Record Numbers for PRH.... March in like a Lion?

After I finished writing yesterday's post, very late Sunday night and very early Monday morning....I looked at the clock and it read 1:05(am)...I finished a last glass of Guinness and looked out the landing window...the predicted rains had began to come down in force.  Straight down and heavy.  I decided to check the basement for water.  Our basement,the first part of the house/parsonage to be constructed, was built in November 1923, and remains much like it was back 87 years ago....unfinished, but useful.  Washer, Dryer, weight room, my shower, freezer,  a TV with cable, antiques, my clothes rack, etc.  Old and cold, it's a great place to escape to and drink a beer in the summer,  watch football on occasion in the fall, work out, store my cigars, family history items, and store our "Armageddon" supplies.  It's where I have taken all but a handful of showers, usually 2 a day, since we moved in nearly 16 years ago.  The wife and Anissa always used the upstairs bath, the boys and I usually took care of our needs in the basement...a guy thing I guess.  Even with the mostly empty next...I still escape to the basement on a daily basis.

The basement during  heavy rains gets some water, but only once was it a major a problem...that came during the 4 days of heavy thunderstorms during the July 4th holidays of 2003.  On the night I returned from Denver, after delivering a RV, the rains were like I had not seen since the Monsoons in Vietnam...the basement took on water, and we spent much of the overnight, Patricia, Hal, his friend Jake, and me, carrying buckets of water up the basement stairs and dumping them in the driveway which ran to the street in front.  Being one of the highest points in Celina, we never needed a pump, and probably would not have that night, if the city had not done some "drain work" which caused a backup.   We purchased a electric pump the next morning...and since that day we never needed to use it...until early Monday(yesterday) morning.

I awoke about 3am, walked down to the basement again, and the water on the east end near the washer/dryer(which are up a couple inches on slab blocks) was a few inches deep...time to plug in the pump, which had not been used in over 7 years...we cleaned off the cobwebs, and place it in the standing water...worked like a charm, and within a half hour the only wetness was confined to the surface of the floor.  On the way back upstairs I once again peeked out the landing window...Livingston Street towards the east was receiving flooding waters, at least 2 or 3 feet deep...our neighbors cars, at least a couple of them, were in danger of getting some serious water damage.  As I said, our house sits on the high end of the area, with the slopes that move downward both east towards City Hall and the Courthouse and west towards the City Pool and the County Fairgrounds...we stayed dry for the most part.

The schools, except Patricia's at St. Henry, were all cancelled, they stuck with a 2 hour delay.  The city streets drained well and by afternoon, and the only remains of thje flooding in town were the debris in the streets and yards...Grand Lake and Beaver Creek and the flood plains were another story....

The combination of 3 inches of overnight rains, and a foot of melting ice and snow in the 55 degree weather was a prescription for disaster...both the flow north to the St. Marys River(closed at route 127) where it heads towards Willshire, Ohio, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the flow from Grand Lake's West Bank Spillway, where it flows into Beaver Creek on it's way to the Wabash River, were in full force.  The lake had a major ice cover this winter, and that melt combined with the rain has the potential of making this the 3rd 100 year flood in the past 10 years...so much for climatology....?

The spillway was pouring quickly into the Beaver and the water was within 6 inches of the small bridge at US 127...once past that point, the Beaver had left it's bank and was flowing into the south side of town and into the fields as it headed west, albeit out of it's banks, towards the Wabash and Indiana.  The reports say it will reach it's peak sometime later today...with the sun shining bright, at least the rain will stay away and what little snow is left, won't have a negative effect on the already sodden grounds.  Sad to say our Mercer Residential Services building, which also houses the Adult Day Services which Anissa attends 3 hours per day, was flooded out on the south side of town.  The building, just a handful of years old, will need some major cleaning and repair....not sure what the total damages might be...but Anissa, for the foreseeable future, will be spending those few hours in the morning with me at home, until she heads to the workshop at Cheryl Ann at Noon.  I'm on the Board of Directors at MRSI, and we will have some decisions to make, regarding the repairs and how to prevent them in the future.

Black Out____

With no moonshine, without artificial lighting the only lights would be the Radio and Cell phone towers that beam out their red and white lights....at 10pm last night Celina went black.  I was standing in the kitchen, Patricia had already headed for bed....I was conversing with youngest son Hal on the cell phone, when blink, the lights went out.  I mean out!  Not just a section of the city of 11,000, but the entire town went black.  It was a surreal look...no street lights, no traffic lights, nothing but a few cars that were on the streets.  Patricia got up, we grabbed a couple of flashlights and got out the candles, and that was it for about 45 or 50 minutes.  I had not seen such complete blackness since our nights on the mushroom hunts in the woods near Mesick, Michigan, in the spring of each year.

The radio stations in town provided no answers, because they to, were blank. off the air for the duration....I turned into a Chicago Blackhawks game out of a Chicago station and waited...the neighbors had flashlights, I looked out the front windows and saw a few houses with candlelight as well.  Then at 10:45 the lights came back on as quickly as they had went off...I suspect the flooding had something to do with it...but so far, no word from the powers that be.

Sitemeter says____

I started on this blog a little over 3 1/2 years ago...basically as a diary of sorts to replace my daily writings to paper....a year later I signed up with sitemeter, just to see how many, if anybody, was stopping by.  February, being the shortest month, you would not think would contain a record number of visitors or pages viewed.  That however proved not to be the case this month just past.  4047 visits and 6500 page views my sitemeter showed this morning:


It beat the old record set in November of last year...topping those numbers by some 400 visits and nearly a thousand page views...I do appreciate it.  I reach 950 posts in those 3 1/2 years with today's writing.

March, in like a lamb?

Mid 40's and sunshine they say for today....not exactly "Lion Like" for the first day of March...a bit cooler tomorrow, and more rain in the forecast for the weekend.  I am sure we will get more than a few lion like days before this month, when I turn SS age on March 16th, is finished.  High School baseball season is set to start, as the basketball tournaments heat up...right now I cannot imagine any outdoor baseball activity getting in...the grounds have a long way to go before they begin to dry, and the extended forecast does not look promising.

Regardless, March is the change over month from Winter to Spring...and it is here.  I, for one, am looking forward to it....outdoor activity will pick up, the snows will end(except for an occasional flurry in April), and baseball season will indeed begin....my first regular season game is slated for March 28th...just under four weeks from now.  I am ready...except for the lawn mowing and garage cleaning that is sure to follow the improving weather.

back later>>>>

Photos-Top Left, the overflow from the Grand Lake Spillway as it moves into the over the bank Beaver Creek and under US 127 on the south side of Celina.  Then the Beaver has it rolls under the small bridge at Fleetfoot Road west of town...and farm field, already flooded, as the Beaver Creeks moves towards it's meet up with The mighty Wabash River and the Indiana Line.

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