Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton


Whole lotta rain yesterday. Earlier in September, when the remnants of Hurricane Frances came through, we got 3.60 inches of rain, breaking a record for most rain in 24 hours that had stood since 1888. Yesterday, we got SIX inches. (I haven't been able to find an exact figure. It was 5.94" at the airport when we stopped watching the news, I've seen a web site that reported more than seven inches in some parts of Pittsburgh.

There was flooding in low-lying parts of Pittsburgh, and quite a few roads were blocked by mudslides or landslides. Our GURPS game was canceled because even though Kevin's house is on high ground in Shaler, many of the routes to his house went through flooded Etna and Millvale.

It wasn't too bad for us personally, though. It took me an hour to get home because of snarled traffic and blocked streets, but I didn't personally meet any threatening water. (I did learn that I have little intuition for what streets are prone to flooding; I have much better intuition for streets to follow when it has snowed.) Lori had the same experience. The power was out at our house when I got home, which delayed our making contact. But we went over to Lori's parents' house without great incident, and eventually called our house and learned that the power was on by hearing the answering machine.

And we had better news: the contractor who's been working on our storm drains had nearly finished. (He's got the drains out to the sidewalk, but for winter, we need the water to go under the sidewalk instead of forming an ice slick on top.) We did get some water in our basement--but aside from one room, it was nowhere deeper than a fraction of an inch. This is much less flooding than we got from the residue of Frances, when the contractor had just started. Yay for his excellent timing!

As I've been hearing about Ivan approaching the coast, the thought has occurred to me that Pittsburgh is really rather low on indigenous disasters. And even though the local news media is in a tizzy about this flood, I think it proves my point. There were some rescues needed, but almost no casualties from this flood; a lot of people have had their homes flooded, but very few have had their homes blown away. If given a choice between this or the destruction caused by Hurricane Ivan in Alabama or the Caribbean, this is the clearly preferred choice. And similarly, we're rarely hit by wildfires, earthquakes, or extreme blizzards.
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