The Great Washing of 2009

Those little figures in the distance are people standing atop their stranded cars.

Those little figures in the distance are people standing atop their stranded cars.

It took me just over two hours to drive to work this morning. My apartment is 3.7 miles from the LEO office. According to MSD, we just took about six inches of rain in 75 minutes, thus setting a record for the most rainfall in such a short period.

I also realized — as did many unfortunate drivers — that downtown Louisville is a big, dirty bowl.

I first drove down Broadway from Baxter and was turned back at Barret. I saw two cars stranded under an overpass, all sorts of flashing police and fire lights, and turned back. I hit Breckinridge Street and tried the north-south throughways to get to Broadway, but every one was flooded. Two feet or so at Second and Broadway. People standing atop their stranded cars at Fourth and Broadway. I kept heading west, looking for a shot through.

The parking lot at the southeast corner of Ninth and Breckinridge seemed as good a place as any to get the hell out the way. I stopped there for about 30 minutes, listening to Francene’s radio show for updates as I watched cars give up in the median, channels about two feet deep on both sides of Ninth. I waited. And waited. I tried to head east on Kentucky and get home, but to no avail: it appears that Beargrass Creek has muscled its way up to Kentucky, Breckinridge and everything in between. By the time I got back to Second and Broadway, it was mercifully clear.

U of L has cancelled classes. The airport is closed. Local TV weatherpeople are losing their minds. Some 20,000 households are without power. MetroCall is getting 500 times their normal volume of calls. Oh, and dig this shit from MSD (via C-J):

Dislodged manholes sent raw sewage into the streets. MSD is also reporting overflows from its Jeffersontown treatment plant.

MSD advised people to avoid contact with the Ohio River, creeks, streams and drainage ditches, because they will contain sewage and storm water runoff contaminants that could make people sick

“If you, your family or your pets do come in contact with possibly contaminated water, wash it off with warm, soapy water, especially before handling food,” an agency alert said.

We’ll update Fat Lip all day with photos and stories of this ridiculous weather “event.” We encourage you to leave your stories in the comments.

One Comment

  1. Eugene
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 12:56 pm | Permalink