September 05, 2006

Come Hell or High Water.

Yesterday after the grilling fun we had an interesting development. Ktreva needed to take Boopie to the store to buy some new school clothes. She wasn’t gone 5 minutes when she called the house to say that the intersection of Charles and 20th (In Rockford) was underwater. There was a car stalled out in the middle of the intersection the water was running so high. It looked like a river flowing over the road, it was pushing stalled around. Cars in parking lots were being pushed into the street. Here’s a photo from her camera phone.

Flood 2006.jpg
Charles St and 20th.
Click to enlarge.

We then found out that all the major roads around us where flooded and we couldn’t go anywhere. She came home as to not risk getting caught in one of the flash floods. We noticed a huge increase of traffic on our street. We figured people were using our street as a throughway to get past all the flooded main roads. Then one after another rescue vehicles with lights and sirens kept passing the house. At first we thought there was a house fire or they where going to the hospital. One of the hospitals is on Charles Street.

Ktreva went out onto the front porch and saw that one of the trucks was just half a block away. I went running down to see what was going on. When I came to the corner I saw that they where just there doing traffic control for a bigger emergency 2 blocks north. I headed down to see what was happening. That was when I received a shock. The Fire Department Emergency Rescue Squad was unloading a boat in the street. The water had rose enough that people where trapped inside houses. It was chest deep on the firefighters. They where evacuating the neighborhood just north of my house.

To make matters worse, the water was still rising. Trying not to stay out of the way, I asked one of the firefighters in a truck if I needed to evacuate my family. He told me that the water would have to rise 5 more feet before it even got to my house, let alone blocked us in. Just to be safe I ran, literally, home and told Ktreva, “This is NOT a panic situation, this is just being prepared. I want you to go pack some clothes for yourself and the boys. There’s flooding two blocks north of us and they are evacuating that part of the neighborhood. We are currently safe, and they officials do not feel we are in any immediate threat.” Next I called Wes of Bodhran (Drum) roll, please who lives two houses down from me. I spoke with his lovely wife and advised her of the situations. Again, I told her this is not a panic situation, just be prepared.

Grabbing a camera I went to check out the street on the other side of our house. The water here was only about a block away. I quickly snapped a picture, then the camera died. Unfortunately the picture didn’t turn out to well, but here is what the view was just a block from my house. If you look closely you can see cars floating. (Yes, they where floating).

Flood 2006 002.jpg
Click to Enlarge

I offered my assistance to the firefighters, but the declined my help. I guess I can understand, it’s been ten years since I was certified last in water rescue. Not that they knew that, I think they where more concerned about me getting in their way. The water never did reach us, in fact it wasn't long after the above picture was taken that the rain stopped and the flood starting subsiding.

I will say one thing about Mayor Morrissey, The Rockford Fire Department, The Rockford Police Department, the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department and all the surrounding agencies (We saw a Loves Park water rescue vehicle in the neighbor hood as well). They did an excellent job responding. They had the situation well in hand and even though numerous families where rendered homeless, they had emergency shelters set up and ready for them.

Depending on what report you hear, some areas received between 5-12 inches of rain in under 4 hours. Of course the weathermen and newscasters played this up as “Katrina style rains” (roll eyes), but it was nasty. The officials had no forewarning the weather would be like this, or that anything of this magnitude was going to happen. And since they want to compare this gully washer to Katrina, we had better emergency response then New Orleans.

Posted by Contagion in Stories about me. at September 5, 2006 06:21 PM | TrackBack

WOW! Did you keep grilling?

BTW - check your email, I have a question about the football league.

Posted by: TNT at September 5, 2006 10:15 PM


Posted by: Tammi at September 6, 2006 05:13 AM

the RRStar has some pretty good photos:

here and here.

Posted by: Shadoglare at September 6, 2006 06:30 AM

Of COURSE he kept grilling, don't be silly!

Posted by: Ogre at September 6, 2006 09:50 AM

Ah fun with water. I'm really glad you all didn't have any flooding at your house. It's a royal pain. Although, if you think about it, this means that the likelihood of you ever being flooded is about nil. That's always nice to know.

Posted by: Teresa at September 6, 2006 03:37 PM