Mmmmmm...I love the smell of chlorine! OK, so maybe not every day but I'm loving it today because it's responsible for this:
That's a very clean and shiny pool cage and, best of all, I didn't have to do the work to get it that way. Unless, of course, you count writing the check to pay for it.
We had the house washed today and had the pool enclosure done as well. I can do the sides and last year managed to clean the angled pieces but I just couldn't manage the top. In our hot and humid climate it doesn't take long for algae and mildew to accumulate and while we have the house washed every year or two, we've never done the top of the enclosure. When a friend mentioned what a good job the housewasher had done on his (we use the same company), I knew that's what we needed to do. After an afternoon of mowing and moving everything back onto the porches, I sat back there and admired how pretty and white it looks again, inhaling the leftover chlorine fumes...and loving it.
Then because it was late when we got that all finished, we decided to run into Pensacola for a bite to eat. Getting home proved more difficult than we expected due to the floods from Tuesday night's rain.
We thought we had a lot of rain out here but it was nothing compared to Pensacola itself...and we're not that far apart. Rain gauges in one part of the city reported 26.7" of rain. On the official side, they had 15.6" on April 29, setting a record for the most rainfall in a single day and, of course, rain continued on for hours after midnight. At one point late Tuesday, 5.7" of rain fell in just one hour, something weather authorities said was a once in 200- to 500-year occurrence. We had more rain out of this week's storm than we've had out of the last two major hurricanes to hit the area.
One of the most enduring images of the damage from so much rain is the photo of the collapse of a section of Scenic Highway. That must have been some ride for the drivers of the two vehicles traveling on it when this occurred. The road is a popular one with locals, in part because there aren't a lot of traffic lights and the speed limit is 45 mph most of the way. The view, however, is another draw. True to its name, it's scenic, offering peaceful vistas of the Escambia River which would be to the right of this picture. It wasn't the river that eroded the roadway, however; it was rainwater coming from the left that undercut the roadbed in two separate places causing the collapse. When I worked downtown, this was my primary route to get there and the closure of a section is going to impact a lot of people.
But our dinner plans didn't require us to go downtown so we weren't expecting detours or closed roads. In fact, we took a rather circuitous route going, mostly because we were talking. After eating, we headed down Olive Road, expecting to catch Scenic Highway north of the closed section and scoot home. Imagine our surprise to find Scenic blocked north of Olive too. I don't know if they have more collapsed or unstable areas or if they were simply giving it a very close look-see just to be sure.
So we turned around, intending to take Olive to Johnson Avenue to get back to Davis. This is what we found:
I thought when I grabbed this photo that this was Johnson but upon further study, we think it's the other section of Scenic. The point is Johnson looks just like this; a cavern in the pavement where water undermined the ground below it. We were forced to go all the way back up Olive to reach Davis and eventually home.
Our neighborhood handled this excessive rainfall pretty well all things considered. The cart path on the golf course just down from our house collapsed in much the same fashion as the roads above but with a little less drama. The water overran the curbs in many places so we all had plenty of debris to clean up in the yards and rumor has it the frozen yogurt place across the highway from the subdivision took on a little water.
I can't, however, get images of this Pensacola neighborhood out of my mind.
That's a street...or what's left of it...and an example of the power of water. There isn't a nearby river or creek to overflow and undermine this entire road; it's just hours of heavy rain.
This before-and-after view of another part of the same street says it all. I look at these photos and wonder how it could have happened as I'd consider this neighborhood to be on high ground.
Like every disaster, there are stories of both bravery and loss that are both heart-warming and heartbreaking. So many homes had water in locations that not only have never flooded but weren't in flood plains where flooding was even deemed a possibility.Tales of water coming up in homes so fast the residents could barely get out and of people having to cut holes in the roof to escape after seeking refuge from the floodwaters in their attic.
An afternoon thunderstorm can dump several inches on us any summer afternoon and we think nothing of it. A tropical storm can bring five times that much and we prepare for it. This was unexpected...and unprecedented.Thank goodness for our sandy soil as the water itself disappeared as fast as it came. The effects, however, will be felt far longer.