Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Flooding in Harrisburg

My town of Harrisburg, NC — and indeed the entire region — has been in a state of moderate drought for the past, I dunno, fourteen months or so. So when we got a solid day of rain yesterday, Amy and I were thankful for it. Who wouldn't be? As helicopters hover over my head right now, I'll tell you who wouldn't be: our neighbors down the street.

Our house is on one of the higher pieces of ground in a neighborhood that is bordered on one side by a creek prone to occasional flooding. So we were blissfully unaware until a few hours ago, as we went about our morning, that just 200 yards away were several homes whose first floors were under water! Amy had left the house to take the boys to Romp n' Roll for some activities, but called my cellphone shortly thereafter saying she was coming back home — she couldn't go anywhere without hitting flood waters.

From our neighborhood, the rest of the world is accessible (by road anyway) only via Stallings Road. To the west, Stallings Road was flooded across some low-lying cow pastures; to the east, it was flooded at the bridge over that creek that borders the neighborhood. Our neighborhood and the one just west of it are now effectively on an island! It's an island full of people who couldn't get to work today. And, sadly, it's an island not quite big enough (or high enough) to hold all the houses in the neighborhood.

We took a walk down the street to see the damage and find out if there was anything we could do to help. Here are some photos I snapped while there. You can see in some of the photos how high the water line was before we even got down there to take the pictures.

I was told that one of the houses now under water was for sale, set to close today. And while the potential buyers are probably glad they didn't sign yesterday on the place, the sellers have certainly had their world turned upside down. My mother called to tell me that in her neighborhood across town (which is bordered by another creek), the water level rose by over ten feet. Apparently, there are crews acting there in boats to get people out of their homes. And another section of the same creek that runs by my mom's neighborhood flooded over yet another key road, according to the Lathams.

My neighbors appear to be in good spirits, and helping each other. I imagine that elsewhere in Harrisburg, NC, folks are doing the same for their neighbors. And that's just … Right.

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