Ken's Blog

An undetermined blog about my life... maybe you'll find my ramblings of how great my son is getting at sports, or a complaint about how expensive gas is...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Storm Surge - 05/02/2007

I decided to take the kids to The Colony High School track to practice with them in preparation for the Kids Chase by the Lake race. I saw the storm clouds but as usual, I had not checked the weather. We got to the track, and I ran a warmup 800 with them. I then set Sage loose on a 400 meter fast run, and was going to practice with Brooke separately. When Sage was about 70 meters away, I saw the wall of rain approaching. I shouted at him, but he didn’t hear me. The rain caught up with him, and he stopped, wondering what to do next. The entire time I was shouting for him to come back to where Brooke and I were standing. He turned around to look at us, and saw me waving wildly, so he started sprinting back to where we were. We hustled under the bleachers for some cover, and watched the torrent pour down for a few minutes.

It didn’t look like it was letting up, so I grabbed Brooke in my arms, grabbed Sage by the hand, and we started running for the car. We had to get through a gate, and run about 300 meters to get to where the van was parked. We were soaked by the time we got to the car, and at that moment, the rain lessened. We sat in the car for a minute dripping and laughing. We had a towel, and dried off a bit between the three of us. Since Nichole was out that night, we decided to go get some pizza at Cici’s in Carrollton.

Dinner was uneventful – after gorging ourselves on cheap pizza, I told the kids we would go across the street to Baskin Robbin’s, since it was 31 cent scoop night. Looking outside of the Cici’s (which we had blissfully ignored while eating), there was a heavy downpour. As I opened the door to Cici’s, I could hear the Carrollton tornado warning siren. Winds were whipping the hard rain around and swirling it through the parking lot. Looking back at the frail shell that was Cici’s, I decided to get the kids in the van, and head home. Again, I grabbed them and ran for the van – getting soaked in the process, and again, we laughed once we made it to the protection of the Odyssey. This time, the rain did not let up though. We drove past the Baskin Robbin’s and saw a horde of people, and decided against getting soaked again and risking our lives for a cheap scoop of ice cream.

I started driving back towards The Colony. Wind was lashing at the van, and the rain was very loud as it hit our roof, windows, and the sides of the van. The effect on the van was amplified as we drove away from the shops and into an open road – some drivers were so afraid, they had stopped in the middle of the road! Dodging their parked cars, I drove carefully past. The wipers were on high, and there were several inches of accumulated water that wasn’t washing off the road, slowing progress. Getting to a signal, and seeing the storm getting worse, I ran the red light, in an effort to get home more quickly. When I was driving with the wind, the storm didn’t seem so bad – until I hit a large patch of standing water, covering the windshield so I couldn’t see. The storm seemed to not be letting up, and I was in a hurry to return home with the kids, as Brooke was starting to get scared. I tried repeatedly to reassure her and tell her that I would protect her and get her home safely.

We got to The Colony, and had to drive under the 121 overpass. Many cars had decided to wait out the storm underneath the overpass, stopping the rest of the traffic that was either trying to join them under the bridge, or to get back home. I zoomed around the parked cars, and headed left (since the through lanes were blocked). As we cut back through the Wal Mart parking lot to get back to Main Street, a plastic swimming pool was caught by the strong wind and was blown into the back of our van. It made a loud sound, since it is the shape of a drum. I slammed on the brakes and the pool blew around to the side, slamming into the driver side mirror and knocking it forward. I left it this way until later, as I wasn’t about to get soaked just to straighten the mirror out. The rest of the trip home was just heavy rains and winds.
When we got home, the power in the neighborhood was out. This didn’t seem to be a problem until we pulled up to the driveway. We pulled into our alley, and the water was overflowing onto driveways and into back yards. I pulled up on our driveway and pressed the garage door opener, but it would not open… of course! An automatic garage door opener doesn’t work without power! At that moment, Brooke decided I wasn’t the protector she thought I was, and started bawling… I’m sure, thinking that we would be stuck in the car in the rain. Nichole had removed the house key from her keychain, so the garage was the only way we could enter the house. I decided to check if the back door was open – as Nichole often leaves it unlocked. I stepped out into ankle high water in the driveway! Unfortunately, we had just put a lock on the fence, so I had to climb over the fence while being pelted by the rain. The back yard was a muddy bog, and the door was locked. I jumped back over the fence and got into the car, drenching the inside of the van. I drove around to the front thinking maybe Nichole had left the front door unlocked or the windows unlatched. It was also locked.
I finally decided we wouldn’t make it into our house before the power came back on. So, we headed to a friends house in The Colony and waited out the storm. I tried to get the kids to sleep in a bed there, but they were in need of home. The power eventually came back on, and we settled down for the night, sleeping well after our adventure!


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