Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Rains Came Down

When I woke in the wee hours on Wednesday morning to feed my little man, flashes of lightning and the sounds of torrents of rain drew me to the window. In the small amount of light from a street lamp I saw what can only be described as a raging river of water racing down the street in front of our house. Pete and I ran down to the front steps and were amazed to see that the water was running across our entire yard. It was 3:30 in the morning, so we didn't get any pictures because of the darkness. Once it got light out, I grabbed my camera to capture images of the water, though it was far less intense than it had been during the night.

our front sidewalk
our other front sidewalk & the neighbor's yard

The mayor declared Duluth in a state of emergency and advised that no one drive unless absolutely necessary. What a treat, then, that Pete was paged to go in and close the clinic. They obviously knew that Pete would be thrilled to jump in his new Jeep and take on the flood waters.

the street out front from our second floor - all water, rocks & sand
I've lived in Duluth for more than ten years and have never seen rain like this. Usually when we get slammed by a storm, it's a snow storm. Nearly the entire city is on the side of a hill with Lake Superior at the bottom and many creeks and rivers running down to the lake. Those waterways couldn't handle 9-plus inches of rain in 12 hours and immediately ran over their banks.

This street is right above ours. I can only think that they ended up far worse than we did because the street runs across the hill and our runs down the hill. Maybe the water had an easier time flowing down our street.

This is the entrance to a trail along the creek just 1 1/2 blocks from our house. 

photo taken from facebook
 And this is what the trail looks like after the water receded. Sadly, it will be a while before we take another walk along the creek.

photo taken from facebook
We've got lots of adventurers in Duluth, and many of them headed out into the water after the rain stopped. This intersection is just a few blocks up the hill from us. It's also right next to the University. A few cars in the area were completely covered in water. A few others disappeared into sink holes in the streets.

kayak! photo taken from facebook
Pete & I took pictures in the pavilion below on the day we got engaged. We drove over to take a look at it yesterday afternoon and it was actually still standing.

photo taken from facebook
Lester River
My sister lives right behind the restaurant below. The entire area was covered in water yesterday, but when I drove to her place today, there were only a few small puddle remaining. I don't think the restaurant made it. It was getting cleared out when I saw it.

photo taken from facebook
After exploring our end of the city late in the day yesterday, Ella wanted to play int he new dirt and mud in our front yard. We were incredibly fortunate. We had only minimal water in our basement and the yard is manageable, though we will have to put in a decent amount of time raking out all the rocks and sand.

sand & rocks where the water flowed
a few plants & items that ended up in our yard from somewhere up the street
The most yard damage happened with the retaining wall between our house and our neighbor's. Many of the blocks ended up against their house. A few of the flower bushes were flattened, too.


These lovlies blossomed yesterday following all the rain. Lots of destruction, but still plenty of beauty. I love this city.

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