The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

19 August 2007

Sure looks like a hurricane

Weather guys: "It's official. Tropical depression."

Erin: "Oh, yeah? I'll show you."

And we are indeed being shown. The first wave, as it were, brought about three-quarters of an inch of rain, but that was trivial. Right now the "eye," and it certainly acts like one, is over the western edge of the city, moving at a snail's pace: 10 mph. Which means that we're in for a few more hours of this, "this" being 40-mph winds, rains somewhere between torrential and Biblical, and cars floating downstream. (Most of El Reno seems to be cut off by high water.)

Through 6 am we've had about three inches of rain over and above that first wave; if we get by with only six or eight for this storm, we'll have dodged something of a bullet. (The rainfall record for the 19th of August is a feeble 0.87 inch, so it's gone; the record for any day in August is 3.17 inches, which we are exceeding even as I type.)

Meanwhile, Lake Superior continues to fall. Not that I'd want them to get tropical depressions or anything, but geez.

Update, 9:50 am: The eye has passed and the rain has tapered off: 4.5 inches or so have fallen at the airport since the storms began yesterday; Tinker AFB reports around five inches. As the eye came through, the barometer dropped markedly and the winds picked up: 60-mph readings were not uncommon. Lots of road closings were announced, the nearest being 50th and the Lake Hefner Parkway; since this is fairly high ground, I'm guessing it was due to a downed pole or something rather than to high water. The only power interruption I saw came at 7:34, with a brief roll of God's Own Tympani; it lasted only long enough to screw up the clock on the microwave.

Around the yard, there are piles of leaves and occasional bits of tree branch, and there's the usual backwash into the garage, but otherwise I've found no problems: the winds peaked here in the 40s, less of a threat to that which is vertical. NOAA Weather Radio, for the moment, is doing a loop of flood warnings, of which we have a bunch. The "do not drive into flooded areas" message, of late, has contained the following notice: "Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks." I assume this is aimed at the idiots who think hey, I've got a four-by-four, what can possibly go wrong?

Posted at 6:19 AM to Soonerland , Weather or Not

There you go, stealing all our rain again.

Posted by: rita at 7:09 AM on 19 August 2007

I think we need to start airdropping Prozac into these TDs.

Posted by: McGehee at 9:21 AM on 19 August 2007

We're at just about 8 inches just south of the Canadian river (think Riverwind Casino and you're close) and sponging up water from our flooded garage and living room. At about 5 a.m., my husband was outside digging a trench outside our windows. I always knew those years in the military would eventually come in handy.

Posted by: Melessa at 11:13 AM on 19 August 2007

Kingfisher got it worse than El Reno, as now all the news-choppers are there. The TV stations didn't know it was worse in Kingfisher because the power was out there too.

Here at the junction of I-40 & I-240, I see a small lake where a ravine used to be and there's water running over the road in and out of here, but nothing major. Back during the Half-Noah in June-July I stuck a fence post along side of the road at the low point with numbers indicating depth. The highest level I saw was just over one foot, like 14-15 inches (as read thru binoculars).

Posted by: Dan B at 1:57 PM on 19 August 2007

In El Reno, we got 7.5, and my house was without power for almost 12 hours. A small holly bush was downed, and all the other plants are beat up pretty badly. And, finally, a drip in the living room in front of the fireplace, which we hope was just a fluke of water windblown into the flue. Could be worse though, Kingfisher is on CNN. Erin go bragh -- not.

Posted by: Rena at 5:13 PM on 19 August 2007