Saturday, January 1, 2011

Be careful what you ask for....

OK -- so I didn't really ask for rain.  But I did ask for warmer weather and along with that came rain.  Not heavy downpours like we often get around here, just a good, steady rain.  By 11:15 this morning, this is what my front yard looked like.

From my screened porch, looking left....

And from my screened porch looking right.

Believe it or not, there are three storm drains in these pictures, none of which seemed to be functioning.  In the photo above, there's one near that red mailbox.  In the first photo, there is one below my black mailbox and another on the opposite corner beneath the street/stop signs.

Eventually, the city sent people out to look, then people to actually try doing something.  Took 'em 4-5 hours, but suddenly the street went dry.  There are some pumps a block away that are supposed to take the water away when the drains back up, but the streets department and the sewer department seem to have some territorial battle about whose responsibility lies where so nothing ever seems to get done. I heard this last summer from the streets overseer. The first guy out today asked when the drains were last cleaned and I told him last summer.  He shook his head, and grumbled that 'they said the pumps aren't working but if the water can't reach 'em, they can't pump it.'  I guess the pumps really weren't working in the end, because nobody did a darned thing to those storm drains -- all the work was going on a block away where, apparently, the pumps are, and the water disappeared way too quickly to have drained normally.  In fact, it disappeared during my 30-minute meditation time -- rather a surprise to come back into this room and see pavement, instead of a lake.

I emailed these photos to our new city manager this morning, expecting that he would not see them until Monday or Tuesday or whenever the city gets past its long weekend.  I can't say if he happened to be working, or happened to check his email from home, or if it was just coincidence, but the first city car, a patrol car, drove through within 20 minutes or so and during the course of the day it looked to me as if somebody had been told to get this issue solved.  Other times I've seen crews come out here, shovel at the drains, shrug and disappear.  All kinds of people out here this time, and they worked until it was fixed.  On a holiday.  I hate to see the overtime bill on that one, but I'm not complaining.  My guess is that if Robbie didn't see my email today, he'll see that there's a permanent fix on those pumps, and fast.

Tomorrow we're back to sunshine for a few days, at least.

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