Okay. As someone might say were they a biological product of a southerner and a Long Islander, this is fixin to be enough already.
Rain is one of those things we're all used to in upstate New York. In "the old days," a cloud cover would move in, hang around for awhile making everything gloomy, then it would rain some -- hard rain for a bit maybe -- drizzle for awhile longer, then stop. This might go on for a few days, but sooner or later the sun would appear and dry the place out.
This summer, however, things have changed. I started thinking about writing this post around five o'clock, when it was raining hard. Did a few things, made a few phonecalls. It's now 6:40 pm and it's STILL raining hard. Rain is pounding down off the eaves, as it has been for over an hour and a half. The windows are smeared with rain. Harry flat refuses to go outside. He goes to the back porch steps, sniffs, and returns to huddle in his bed. Having been psychologically programmed as an upstater long ago, I keep thinking the hard rain will stop pretty soon. But it doesn't.
Last Thursday we had another day like this. Much of the town was flooded, the river to the west of us having overflowed, and the creek to the south of us doing the same. Folks in town got robo-calls in the night advising them to evacuate various locations in town. Once again, just two years since the last time this happened, kids were floating around in boats on main street. I saw people standing in the road, staring hands-on-hips at their homes and businesses that were surrounded by water from gushing streams. Fields were covered with river water. The river itself roared beneath bridges.
I don't even want to talk about golf, although I will say this: my Wednesday night golf league has been rained out four times, and we still can't find a time to make up matches because of the weather. Portions of the course are mudholes, and fairways are streaked with golf cart track marks, unheard of in late June.
I've personally been lucky. I live in an area of town where basements don't flood. But I've heard plenty of stories of people on the north and south ends of town who have been pumping out their cellars for five days. Now the rain is pounding down again. A friend mentioned yesterday we can only hope the reservoir dam to the east doesn't burst. If it does, heaven help those of us in "safe" parts of town.
At the risk of lighting fire under those who don't believe in climate change, I have an anecdotal comment: SOMEthing is different. We have two months left of summer, and the first month has been underwater. In my life of 57 years, I don't recall anything like this.
It's now 7 p.m. and the rain is finally letting up (sort of). That's two hours of steady hard water. Someone just texted and said her brother had to try five times to get into town, and finally found a route near Columbus because other routes were closed.
It may, in fact, be time to build a boat.