What's that, Lassie? The bridge is out?!

Odd day, today.

I work at home and had my head buried in the computer all day, trying to fix a problem on the server. I noticed that it was raining on and off all day - but mostly noticed it was damn muggy and sunny part of the day too.

Around 6 I finally got the server problem fixed. I stood up from my desk and looked out the window - all the neighbors were outside in the street with umbrellas. Huh.

My phone rang and it was my mom. She says the creek down the street has flooded over the road and was un-passable - she lives on the other side of the neighborhood from me. Our little neighborhood was now cut in half by a raging river! (and here’s me, not realizing it had been raining so hard)

The neighborhood comes off a main road and is sort of shaped like a 9. I live at the tip of the 9’s tail (next to the main road) and my folks live at what would be the “top” of the circle. The top of the 9 butts against a freeway on-ramp. The creek runs under the road, across the “tail” at the joint of the 9. You can’t drive in or out of the neighborhood w/o driving down the “tail.”

People were trying to get home from work, all lined up on my road, stopped about 100 yards from the creek bridge where the water was. This being a muggy Thursday at 6 PM, everyone was pretty worn out and peeved at what had happened. Not sure where they all went…

About 6 houses (3 on either side of the road) had yards that were under water. One house, next to the creek, had water inside. The firefighters talked about an evacuation plan but then decided against it. Two firefighters donned wetsuits and waded across the bridge (chest-deep) to talk to the folks lined up on the other side. They offered to take anyone who wanted to leave out by boat, to the rec center. No one went.

I talked to my mom on the phone and waved at her across the new neighborhood lake. It felt very strange to be separated like that from my folks. In the grand scheme of things, it means nothing. No one was in peril (except the poor folks who’s house got flooded) but I still felt weird that they were completely stuck over there.

One guy, who had his baby and wife stuck on my parents’ road, drove on to the freeway on-ramp and parked his car, and walked down the hill to my parents’ yard. His wife came over and asked my dad if he’d loan them his ladder so the guy could get over the fence. He oblidged.

I guess some of the folks on my parents’ end walked around to check on other neighbors. My dad went to the elderly guy’s house 2 doors down to see how he was. He wasn’t home but his door was open and the dog was there. My dad decided if no one could get through by tonight, he’d have to take the dog for a while.

Apparently someone named Georgie was having a party tonight. About three cars came down the street asking if they could get through to Georgie’s party. We told them no :slight_smile:

On a positive note, I finally met all of my neighbors. I’ve lived at my parents’ end of the neighborhood for 27 years, and here on the “tail” for 8 months. No one from the tail end really has a reason to go out to the other end…so even though I’ve been these folks’ “neighbor” my whole life, no one down here knows me. I met a vivacious young girl who seems to know every person in the neighborhood. I met all the kids who drag race their trucks up and down my street. Everyone met my dog.

I’m not sure what’s going on now. The rain stopped around 7:30 and water started to recede from the lawns, but last I saw there were still orange cones up and the creek was still up over the road. I saw some city trucks with flashing lights down there. I supppose they’re bailing out the flooded house.

I’ve been down in my basement mopping up. Er…'cept I don’t have a mop. So I’m kinda using an old push broom. I put on the de-humidifier and it worked really well. Now my basement floor is dry in a 3-foot radius around the de-humidifier with a fine layer of silt on the floor.

Very odd. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain again tonight, and the creek goes back under the road…I’ll be interested to talk to my best friends tomorrow, who live at the other end of town, and this same creek comes up to their backyard.

Update…their basement flooded, up to the ceiling. They’re at a hotel. How sad :frowning:

Lots of that going around, tonight. The lake down the street from me had its outlet pipe plugged. (Debris? Pipe collapse? No one knows, yet.) So the water came up over the lawn of the lady at the low end of the dam/road, crossed her yard, flooded the intersection (she lives on a corner with the dam behind her) and proceeded to flood both ditches on the street where she lives, sending water down the front yards of all the houses lower down–and into the house at the low end of the road.

Since they couldn’t find the outflow pipe to clear it (provided it did not simply collapse), the township brought out a Gradall and cut a ditch through the dam (with the road atop it) cutting twelve houses off from civilization. I heard a rumor that the fire department was going to order all the houses vacated (they would provide transportation across the flood before the road was cut) since they will not be able to provide rescue services once the ditch was dug across the dam. I never saw a convoy of refugees, so I do not know how accurate the rumor had been.

The water is now low enough that the intersection is no longer flooded and the ditches are no longer flooding yards or houses. At last check, the hastily cut ditch has not (as was speculated) washed out (yet), taking the whole dam and lake with it. The second set of showers, due just after midnight, never materialized, so the township may have a couple of hours tomorrow morning to throw a temporary culvert and some 304 into the trench tomorrow morning, giving the residents back their road and deferring what to do abouyt the dam for another short while. (Something similar happened in August, 1994 and there was a lot of talk about forcing the landowners along the dam to pay to have a spillway built. Since the owners bought into the property years after the dam had been constructed (sans spillway) their response to the idea that they (and no one actually living on the lake) were responsible to pay for a new spillway prompted the response, “Drain the lake.” Since this time, (unlike the floods of 1976 and 1994), there has been serious property damage, it looks to be an interesting few months, ahead.

Deb noted that several of her team throughout metro Cleveland, (on-call response nurses for a hospice program), have called in, tonight, either trapped in or trapped out of their houses due to flooding.

Moving thread from IMHO to MPSIMS.

Meanwhile, Ipswich, Massachusetts is looking at yet another weekend of heavy rain, just what we don’t need.

Over Mother’s Day weekend we got a foot of rain. The Ipswich River runs through the heart of the town and it rose to several feet over flood stage. The downtown had massive flooding. Half the houses in town had water damage.

What’s worse, of the five bridges leading out of town, four were so badly damaged they’ve had to be closed. The state highway department is feverishly working to repair the Choate Bridge, a stone span built in the late 1600s, since it’s the key north-south link for Routes 1A and 133, not to mention all the local traffic. Hopes are it will reopen within weeks. Downstream of it the County Road Bridge will take who knows how long. Downstream of that is the Green Street Bridge, which is bearing way more traffic than it was meant for, sending constant streams of traffic through quiet side streets that are being pounded into oblivion by the overload.

Those are the bridges headed south. Heading west to Route 1, there’s a little bridge on a dirt road cutting from one main local route to another that’s been closed. The biggest problem on that side of town, though, is the Mill Road Bridge, another historic stone span, a large one, whose central support pier was sheared off completely at the bottom. It’s slowly sinking and there’s some question whether it can be saved before it collapses entirely.

Oh, and after more heavy rain last weekend a culvert collapsed under another main road to Route 1, just over the town line in Topsfield, closing that section of road too.

hen there was the fire that hit a Colonial-era building abutting the south side of the Choate Bridge and destroyed it, a week after the floods. Since the bridge is closed the firefighters had to take the detour to get to it and fight it only from the front, although they were able to get a truck into the rear parking lot of a business on the other side of the river and shoot water across.

The river has dropped below flood stage but it’s still several feet higher than normal. And we’re forecast to have more heavy rain all this weekend.

If you’re interested, here is an album of flood shots taken over several days. I haven’t had time to put explanatory captions on them yet, but the images should tell their own tale. The huge lake in one set of photos is actually a great hayfield.