Boy, what a gully-washer Kentucky had today! Five inches of rain in Louisville, and at least and inch and a half here. Well, you can’t say we didn’t see it coming. This morning the weather radar showed big, dark red patches over Louisville and Cincinnati. Another red patch was moving into Illinois from Missouri, and one more was hovering over Kansas City. With doppler radar, orange and bright red areas are bad enough, so dark red means a really bad storm. I was reminded of Hurricane Ike from last year, and figured that again, we’d be the lucky ones and Louisville & Cincinnati would catch the brunt of the storm. That did happen, but it didn’t mean we got off easily.
By the middle of the day, there was a huge squall over the Ohio valley. Indiana must have been hit hard, too, because I saw a pattern on the radar I hadn’t seen before. Three squall lines converged over Indiana, coming from the north, southeast and southwest, to form a triad pattern across the state, with the center point on Indianapolis. Then the storm over the Ohio valley moved southward, reaching us between 2 and 3 PM. It arrived with some of the darkest clouds I have seen in Kentucky. It reminded me of my experiences with hurricanes in Florida, so I wondered if this time the air would have enough moisture in it to turn the lightning green, as was the case with the hurricanes. Of course, the lightning and the dark clouds reminded me of Florida, too, and so did the timing–in Florida you can count on a thunderstorm almost every afternoon, from June to September.
I did consider leaving early, but the rain came down so hard that it made more sense to wait it out, so I went home at the usual time. The clay soil around here doesn’t drain as quickly as Florida sand, so I saw quite a bit of flooding on the way home. I also took the main roads instead of the more direct country roads–I learned my lesson there. After I got home it wasn’t so bad, and in the evening I went to the Tuesday night men’s group that my church hosts; we got to meet a pastor from Kenya, Bishop Stephen Chege. He’ll be speaking to the rest of the congregation this Saturday.
Several streets in Louisville were left under 3-4 feet of water, including Interstate 65. The University of Louisville was closed, and the ground floor of the library was flooded, damaging tens of thousands of books. Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby racetrack, was flooded, too. At times like this I am thankful our house is on higher ground.
I’ll finish with some links to articles and pictures about our flash flood. Now what other surprises will the month of August bring?