Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lost in the Flood

Après nous, le Déluge. Tuesday morning I was dashing out in the torrential thunderstorm, on the way to a meeting at Starbucks on Blankenbaker. I witnessed lightning striking a tree across the street, sending branches flying. That should have been a warning sign to forget the meeting and go back inside, but I stubbornly pressed on.

Unfortunately, my car has developed an aversion to rain - something's getting wet under the hood (starter? battery? distributor cap?) and makes it reluctant to run under moist conditions. It died right around a sharp curve on Watterson Trail, and wouldn't start again. A couple of cars came speeding around the corner and very nearly slamming into me since visibility in the downpour was very low. Finally I had to put it in neutral and push it out of the road. About half an hour later, I was able to get it started again.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, a lot of other people in Louisville were having far worse troubles. From WAVE-TV:

In Louisville, there's flooding at Second and Broadway, and First and Main. East Breckenridge Street also has water as high as car windows.

Police had to pull a driver from a vehicle at Grinstead and Cherokee Road, and there was another rescue at 15th and Hill Street.

In New Albany, cars were floating in high water at Scribner Place and Thomas.

There were reports of three feet of water at Arthur Street and Eastern Parkway. And someone reported seeing a person floating in a motorized wheelchair at 901 south 15th Street.

There are also unconfirmed reports that manhole covers are blowing off because of the heavy rain.

Norton Hospital on disaster due to flood damage.

And from

One of the hardest hit public buildings was the main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library, 301 York St.

Craig Buthod, executive director of the library system, said that the lower level of the library building took on several feet of water. He estimated that “tens of thousands” of books were lost.

Buthod said that the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system was under water, as was his personal car, library vehicles and Bookmobile units.

The library is expected to be closed through at least Wednesday.

And most tragic of all, from WHAS-TV:

Witnesses say it took only minutes for floodwaters to rise nearly waist deep inside Louisville’s animal shelter.

But with only a dozen people around and nearly 600 animals, they couldn't get them all to safety in time.

One dog and nearly a dozen cats drowned Tuesday afternoon.

(Photos by Kari Donahue.)


Anonymous said...

I used to have a car that didn't like to run in the rain - it was a cracked distributor cap.

Tree said...

Our power was off but its back on now. a lot of peeps are still without

Heather said...

Wow, quite the flood! So sad about the animals.