11:51 a.m. on August 11, 2004
I got off work early on Friday and stopped by the store on the way home. It was sunny when I went in, but by the time I bought my groceries and left the store, it was crashing rain. Of course I left the windows rolled down in the car, so I had to sit in a big puddle and my windows were all fogged up. I had to drive with the windows still rolled down so I could see where I was going, all the while filling my car up with more rain water. I was only about 20 blocks away from home, but the streets were already flooding. I was driving through a pool and causing the crazy water spray on each side of the car like a speedboat. The conditions were dangerous, yet exciting, so I began to whoop and holler.

The entrance to our neighborhood is next to the freeway off ramp and I could see there were already accidents due to the precarious conditions and would for sure be more. I drove through a lake as I entered our neighborhood. I had to drive up a hill to get to the house; the street was a river. My neighbor was in the middle of the street with a rake manning the gutters, trying to keep them from plugging up and worsening the flood. I got out of my car and was immediately drenched to the bone. I yelled to my neighbor: “The streets are flooded!” In a deadpan voice he said back: “I know”. Like duh. Me again: “I mean down there, too, the freeway!” He was over it and turned his attention back to the gutters. I ran inside. Water was pouring off the roof like a waterfall, I could barely see out the windows. I called Sasha. He was just about ready to leave work and I told him to stay there, because he would never get home; the traffic was abominable. I freaked him out saying the basement must be flooding, but I did not want to open the basement door else I would flood it even more. He said he knew of a secret route and would try to get home. He told me to man the news stations and let him know if I found out anything more about the road conditions. I turned on the news, but all they said was that it was raining. I know. Like duh.

I peered through the waterfall windows at my neighbor who, despite his earlier efforts was now trying to fight the ensuing flood that was now his driveway. First he tried the broom approach, sweeping waves of water back toward the street and then watched it wave back into his driveway. Finally he got a sub pump and a hose, which may have saved his living room from flood, but not his basement. The rain continued to pound for exactly 20 more minutes before it completely stopped and the sun came out and the streets dried up. Then, of course, Sasha came home. The birds were chirping away and the robins were already diving for worms. Sasha came in the back way, following a fire truck on the way into the neighborhood. He said a ton of rainwater came down the dirt hillside and directly into the homes below. We soon heard helicopters and saw our neighborhood on the news as fireman and other neighbors piled sandbags on the street to prevent more water from flowing into the homes. The freeways were a mess, but it seemed like it was our area that got hit the hardest. Sasha checked our basement and it faired pretty well. Even the garage was relatively dry and the roof did not leak. Other than the sandbags a few streets down, had I not left work early, I never would have known what our home endured that afternoon.

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