My Time in the Tyler Flood Today [PHOTOS]
The East Texas area is under a good bit of water today. Traveling around town is a dangerous activity at the moment. But, the flooding doesn't stop there. Buildings, walkways, and parking lots are becoming danger zones. I found out about all of these in my short time in the bad weather.
We are all lucky that our situation today is not near as bad as the effect of the flooding in Colorado.
We, like those in Colorado, were not ready.
It is not new to complain about driving around the East Texas area, especially Tyler, in the rain. The city's road planning cannot stand up to substantial rain fall. Every street around town floods. What was once a clear roadway has turned into a white water rapids river. The state of our roads today calls for a need for wearing life jackets while driving along.
leaving the office today, I found myself wishing I had attached an underwater ability system to my small car. Or, perhaps some floatation devices. Without these helpful aids, I had to continue on with my journey in a steady state of slight panic.
Heading to the University of Texas at Tyler down Tyler's 5th Street, I tested my faith. Adrenaline already pumping, my heart was forced into beating fast than ever before when I encountered two terrifying "almost wrecks."
Traveling downhill just before the 5th Street bridge, the valley created between two hills created a lake sized pool of water. I slowed down to ensure safe crossing, but the water was much deeper than I thought. When my car hit the water I came to a complete stop. Thank goodness for my lower speed. Who knows what would have happened if I was going even five miles faster. I clenched my fists, took a deep breath and continued on my way drudging at a glacial pace through the water. All of this effort only to find myself in a more serious situation down the road.
Passing by the Tyler Junior College campus, I came upon another deep puddle. The car just ahead of me has the best luck in the world and an angel on their shoulders, because they should not have gotten out of such a sticky situation they did.
This leading car hit a flooded area and was taken away by the water. This extreme luck and guardian angel's help made sure this car did not wipe out. Instead of having a horrible wreck, they were floated on to an adjacent street. Seeing this, I started my effort to get out of this death trap of a lane.
But, the car traveling beside me and I almost wrecked in this effort to save myself from the water swallowed street. They didn't have their lights on so I could not see them. Why you won't have your lights on in the rain, when visibility is low, and your car is the color of rain; I cannot answer.
Eventually, I safely entered the safer lane. After a few more minutes, I arrived at the university. I did not think that the walk to the door or around campus could be just as scary as driving the river roads.
The parking lot around the Art Complex was a sheet of running water. The sidewalk was a creek of splashes and fast moving rain. The grass could not contain this amount of rainfall so it was swelling up and pushing more water on to the roads and walkways around the complex. This swell was causing the rooms and platforms containing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment to be drenched.
It amazed me seeing the damage the rain was causing to the campus. I rushed to help pull electric lines out of the water that they were installed in a way to never have touched. Some rooms had leaks in the ceilings, while others were carpeted in half an inch of water. Students works were being damaged, equipment being ruined, and other destruction was found everywhere. Here are a few pictures I took of the UT Art Complex to show some of what shocked me.
Sure, those constructing and designing the complex did not necessarily have this amount of rain in mind when building this structure. But, shouldn't have they?
The flooding around town seems unreasonable for the amount of rain we got. We did not receive enough rainfall to constitute a national tragedy. We will not need FEMA to come to our aid. So, why is this first rainfall of the autumn season seem so terrible?
Maybe it is time for our schools, city planners, and others constructing the world around us to plan ahead for days like today.
I hope everyone traveling and out in the rain today is safe. Please, be careful and mindful of these flooding situations and the slick surfaces.