Flood

Flash floods are pretty common around here. We live in reclaimed swamp land not very high above sea level (less than 100ft usually). We also have tropical storms roll through at least every other year, and a major hurricane about every 7-8 years. You might think it rains where you live. But, you do not know what rain looks like. Notable events were Tropical Storm Allison (2001), Hurricane Ike (2008), Memorial Day Flood (2015), Tax Day Flood (2016), Hurricane Harvey (2017), May 9 Flood (2019), and now Tropical Storm Imelda (2019).

There was a forecast of rain for the week and kind of all of a sudden on Wednesday what was initially a thunderstorm coming in from the ocean had organized into Tropcial Storm Imelda. A bunch of rain got dumped along the coast (I work about 60 miles inland). By Wednesday night the storm was presumed dead. Then it took a weird turn Thursday. We were in school, everything was fine in the morning. At 10:30 it got dark and then it rained until 2:45pm. It’s the crux of our flooding problem. Some magical combination of ocean air and high pressure to the north keeps storms stuck. So they sit. And rain. And rain. And rain. The lake in the picture is a 5ft deep retention pond.

Within an hour the road around the school was under a couple feet of water. No point in attempting an early dismissal, the buses couldn’t get here. The school day continued as normal. Police advised we hold kids until roads were safer. Normal dismissal is 3pm, around 3:45 it was safe for walkers/bikers to leave. By 4:30 buses could make it in and all kids were gone by 5:45pm. Given the circumstances, everyone was pretty calm about the whole thing.

Cars in the parking lot survived for the most part, though isolated incidents of house flooding (couple inches) did occur. We closed Friday to allow staff to deal with whatever might have happened at home.

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