Rain and Realization
I live in the ‘burbs northwest of Atlanta in Cobb County, Georgia. It has been raining here for almost a week and a half with little to no breaks. The night before last we had 12 to 15 inches of rain drop in our area in a twelve hour period. Yesterday things got worse while I was away from the house. An even larger storm hit the neighborhood and made things interesting. Storm drains already overwhelmed by the volume of water could not take the added flow and backed up. Water that should have gone onto the drainage easement on the north side of the house ran down the hill towards the front of our home but followed the contour of the land and parallel to the easement anyway causing no damage. A neighbor, across the street, had an above ground pool that ripped open, flooding his basement and garage and sent a small tsunami at my house and a neighbor’s. Thankfully the flow thinned out as the water came down our driveway. On the same side of the street as the now empty pool a small creek overflowed, carried a number of logs into an empty lot and sent water into another home. The creek at the back of our property, which never EVER crests, not even when assaulted by the rains of hurricanes Frances and Charlie in 2004, ran over it banks. Thankfully our side of the creek is higher than the opposite so we were not in danger of water reaching the house from the back. In the middle of all this mayhem our sweet neighbor was periodically raking the muck away from our French drain at the very bottom of the driveway because we always have a shallow lake in front of the garage after a big rain if it is not tended to. She was worried the water would get into our garage. Thanks in part to her help and the contractor that built the house almost thirty years ago the house did not flood despite of being built at the lowest point in the neighborhood. We did lose our water heater, as I found out while running the shower this morning, but that is the worst of it. The unit is in the crawl space and is setting upright, but in a hole. Maybe the hole is full from the elevated water table? I don’t know. When the plumber comes out we’ll know for sure.
In the same storms that made a mess of my neighborhood others around Atlanta are far worse off. Mothers and little children have died in the floods. Dozens of motorists have been rescued from cars that were driven into floodwaters. Other homes have been washed off foundations or completely away. Some people are high and dry but not able to leave their street or neighborhood due to down trees or flood waters. I have a cousin that is without water, gas and cable but has power. All the streets around his home are flooded or blocked with debris. This morning I heard on the news that 120 streets in my county are closed because of theses same reasons.
When we bought our home five years ago we thought, like many others, that we would live here for four or five years, sell the house and upgrade to a one that is a little nicer, a little bigger. Yep, typical starter home buyer mentality. We all know what has happened to the housing market and the economic crisis so those plans had to be shelved. After being here for three years my wife and I were talking one day about how great our neighbors are and how that is something that is impossible to purchase. The current housing crisis and this crazy barrage of rain might be one of the better things that have happened to us. We know with some minor tweaking of the landscaping on one side of the house the driveway will drain better and should be able to handle another “once in a century storm” like we just went through. So it is hard to leave a situation that has proved to be so resilient. And there is room to expand the house on the back. I think adding another 500 to 700 square feet would accommodate our needs for many years to come. Time will tell if that will be a real possibility or not. Any way you look at we have a better house than we planned on buying with better neighbors than we could have asked for.
As I finish writing this the sun has broken through the clouds. I have not seen its golden rays since last Thursday. Be thankful for the blessings that you have created and for those created for you. I am going to eat lunch outside today.