Thursday, August 14, 2014
Rant #1,269: And the Rains Came
Yesterday morning, in my neck of the woods, it rained ...
And rained ...
And rained some more.
In fact, I heard on the news last night that it rained so much that it was the biggest recorded one day rain in theses parts in decades, with some saying that the 10-15 inches of rain we got actually set the record.
It was teeming at 4 a.m. yesterday morning, but I have seen worse.
When I left for work just before 6:30, it was still coming down pretty hard, but like I said, I have seen worse.
I turned onto the major road here for me to get to the highway, which is Merrick Road, and it was closed to a certain early point in my departure.
So I had to turn around, double back to get to another major artery I can use, Sunrise Highway.
I went through the back streets, and saw people going through stop signs, driving 70 miles an hour on residential streets, and doing generally crazy things.
Anyway, I reached Sunrise Highway, and it was pretty clear, so I drove it to the highway I use to get to work, Wantagh Parkway, a generally two-lane highway which connects me with Old Country Road, where my work is located.
As I came onto the highway entrance, I could see that literally hundreds of cars were stuck on the other side of the Parkway, and I could see that the water buildup was probably two feet. Some cars were literally buried in the water.
My side appeared to be clear, so I drove right onto it. It was still raining, but again, I have seen worse.
Let me backpedal a bit.
Every day, before I leave for work, I watch the local CBS News. I like it, I like the reporters--I admit it, most of the female reporters are real eye candy, and very talented to boot--and I watch the traffic reports.
Yesterday, I heard that the other major arteries on Long Island--the Long Island Expressway, the Northern State, and even parts of Sunrise Highway--were closed due to flooding.
But nothing on the Wantagh Parkway.
So, I figured I was free and clear.
Well, let's move forward.
I am in my car, turned on the Wantagh Parkway, and I think I am OK.
At this part of the Parkway, it is three lanes, later turning into two for the rest of the length of the Parkway.
Well, about a quarter mile down the road, I drive into water that had to be a foot deep, if not more.
The depth of the water took my car and literally shoved it over to the far right lane.
I thought I was in a boat, not a car.
If there had been another car there, I don't want to think about what might have happened, but I literally cascaded from the far left lane to the far right lane.
This proved to be a blessing in disguise.
The water was less steep on the right side, probably because there is grass on that side of the road, and the grass soaked up much of the rain on that side of the road.
I got my bearings, waded through the natural lake that had formed, and was on my merry way.
No sooner do I get out of this mess, and once again move over to the left lane, I nearly have an encounter with a pickup truck that bolted over three lanes when entering the Parkway, never seeing me and nearly smashing right into me.
It is never a dull morning, is it?
I got to work maybe just 10 minutes later than I normally do, the rain stopped, and I had my usual merry day at work.
In the interim, the rains fully stopped, the sun came out, and it looked like a decent day as everything quickly got back to normal--
Or so I thought.
I took the Wantagh Parkway home as I always do, and it was clear sailing most of the way home. Evidently, a lot of people just gave up yesterday, so the bumper to bumper traffic I usually encounter on the way home wasn't there, so I moved quickly down the Parkway--
Until about a mile away from my exit.
The traffic stopped dead, as what was normally three lanes of traffic was being pared down to one.
Myself and probably hundreds of other cars just sat there, inching our way along a stretch of road that is normally free of such delays at this point.
There were such problems on the road earlier in the day that there were numerous trucks all over the roadway, so even though the weather was fine, work had been done on the road hours earlier to rid it of water and cars, so much of the road was closed off.
I had to get off at an exit that was before the one I normally get off on, and it put me in the wrong direction, so again, I basically had to double back and proceed the right way.
This more than doubled my return to home time, and when I finally got back home, I was happy, happy that I was there and happy that my car passed its first real weather test.
Heaven knows what the winter will bring, but at least I know that my car can take it. It did what it was supposed to do, getting me there and back without much trouble.
I think the people on Long Island are looking forward to sunny days hereon in. I know that I certainly am.
I have driven in worse, though.
A few years ago, driving home from my family's vacation in Florida on I-95, we encountered the worst storm I have ever been in.
It happened in North Carolina, I believe, or at least South Carolina moving into North Carolina.
It rained cats and dogs and other animals during that rain.
You could not see an inch in front of you, forget about a mile.
The rain was so intense that I basically followed a pickup truck for miles and miles in the distance, because it was the only thing I could see.
It lasted for about an hour, and then we were free and clear, but that rain was scary.
Yesterday's rain was more of a nuisance, but it was a nuisance that I can live without.
Let the Sunshine In! as the old song goes, and boy, after yesterday, I hope it shines for a long, long time.
Posted by Larry at 2:08 AM