I don't know who may have seen it on the National news, but last Monday afternoon/nite Richmond was hit hard with severe flash flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Gaston. *Gaston was just a tropical depression when it reached here and weather reports only called for about 3-5" inches of rain. *Sounded like a lot at the time but no one was prepared for what actually fell.
Gaston inexplicably got "stuck" rotating and rotating just over metro Richmond and poured 10-14" of rain down on the city and surrounding areas in just a few hours. *The results were devasting. *No one expected it and no one was prepared! *There was flooding like no one has EVER seen here before. *The flooding was EVERYWHERE...not just low-lying areas near the James River as can happen sometimes. *Almost everyone was hit in some way. *There have been at least 5 deaths...one was a 19 year old young man who was swept away in a car with his mother and sister. *They got out and he made sure they got to some trees to cling to before he was swept away; they were thankfully saved. *There are countless stories of heroism and lifesaving all over the city as people did what they could to help those caught in the boiling waters. *I can't even begin to tell you how many homes, cars, buildings, roads and businesses that have been destroyed.
As I left work for home Monday nite, I had NO idea what was happening or what lay ahead. *What is normally a 10-15 minute drive took me 2 1/2 hrs. *Every street everywhere was logjammed with traffic as people were routed off of blocked streets, highways and interstates that were flooded. *I saw sights I've NEVER seen before! *It was truly unbelievable. *It was sad. *I could only sit in the "parking lot" and listen to the radio reports which by that time, now realizing the serious of the situation, were coming in and they made continuing reports of rain levels...9 inches...10.5"...11.25".... *My area got 12".
I was lucky...I made it home finally...soggy and stunned. *I did discover my basement flooded (12-14" of water at least) and I live nowhere near water nor am I in a low area. *We were down at work (computerless) for 2 1/2 days only recovering yesterday afternoon.
For anyone interested, here is a slide show that shows just a fraction of the damage here. *It is so widespread and so bad...I don't know how some things will ever be fixed.
The past year has been VERY atypical for natural disasters here. *Last September the city was severely damaged by hurricane Isabelle. *10,000 trees were felled in the city alone and I had no power for 13 days. *Then there was a minor earthquake. *Followed by a massive fire in the downtown area that destroyed 17 blocks of homes and businesses. *And now this--massive flashflooding citywide.
Normally Richmond is a quiet, easy city free of large disasters of this kind. *Its really very bizarre...
I hope you all will send a kind thought towards those in this city who have suffered human losses and personal tragedies--they number in the thousands. *[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_h_32.gif[/img] *It will be a long recovery.