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Atlanta Flood of 2009

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a well used umbrella drying out in the dark lobby at work

a well used umbrella drying out in the dark lobby at work

This week at work was absolutely insane. We’re in the middle of a move from our current office space, which is a cave of a basement that cell signal can’t even puncture, to a new office that is being renovated. Last week there was a bit of a rain which made it evident, through an awesome amount of drywall damage, that the repair job on the roof of the new building hadn’t gone as well as was hoped.

So last week, the contractors spent time tearing out the water damaged drywall and replacing it with new. Before the roof contractors made it back out to fix the roof. A tarp was placed over the roof and the roofers were due out this Monday along with the HVAC people.

Over the weekend, we were pummeled with a storm riding a front that hovered over atl all weekend. Cue Monday and it’s still raining. The roofers refuse to come out and the HVAC people are there, but can’t hoist the unit to the roof because the ground is too soft and the crane is sinking.

At around 2pm, someone from the upstairs of our current building comes down and says “The ditch is in danger of overflowing, you might want to move your cars”. This is completely preposterous in my mind, as there is a 5ft bank for the 3″ deep creek to flow through and a 5ft wall on top of that to protect our parking area.

The lobby illuminated by emergency lights

The lobby illuminated by emergency lights

At 3pm the lights go out. They stay off for around 15 minutes, which means they’re most likely not coming back on before the close of business, so everyone goes around shutting off the surge protectors to stop the beeping until we’re told to leave. One of my coworkers grabs me and tells me to go upstairs because the creek is spewing forth like whitewater from underneath the road.

This is kinda hard to see, I couldn't get my camera to focus past the droplets on the window

This is kinda hard to see, I couldn't get my camera to focus past the droplets on the window

Then I am reminded of what the lady from upstairs was telling us about the parking lot flooded and we all ran outside and are greeted with this:

creek flood 1

That concrete barrier is the wall I was alluding to earlier. The water is even with the land that the concrete wall originates from.creek flood 2Although the parking lot was in no danger of flooding, it was in danger of having the ornamental trees in it toppling over from massive erosion. Everyone started moving their cars and we went back inside.

dark clock wallUpon returning to the building, our Vice President was freaking out because the contractor working on the new building had just called and said that “thousands of gallons of water” were pouring into the new building through its leaky roof. After trying to call a flood cleanup company and not being able to get through to any of them, she ran out of the office and told us to finish up what we could and try to make it safely home.

working my emergency light

working my emergency light

Getting ready to brave the floods

Getting ready to brave the floods

I live 12 miles from work. It took me an hour and a half to go home.

I was told that 400 was a parking lot and to try to take back roads home. My usual back road was blocked by a tree. I spent about 30 mins taking the alternate back road home and made it halfway before seeing an even bigger tree blocking this road, causing me to have to backtrack and try 400 afterall.

Again, hard to see through the windsheild, but the huge tree taking down the powerlines

Again, hard to see through the windshield, but the huge tree taking down the powerlines

400 wasn’t backed up too badly until I saw the traffic sign saying that 75/85 was closed due to flooding. At that point, I didn’t think it’d be that big of a deal because the sign said that the interstate was closed at downtown and I only needed to be on it until midtown. I was a smidge mistaken.

It finally stopped raining some time during the evening, so I went into work the next day and saw the devastation of the creek overflowing.

you can see exactly how high the water got in the kudzu

you can see exactly how high the water got in the kudzu

post flood 2In the background, you can see where the water pulled a chain link fence to the ground. That’s insane, because the current wasn’t even that strong that far down.

It was a pretty interesting distraction from business as usual. I can’t believe that Atlanta is so ill-prepared for flooding. I-20 was closed for multiple days and Six Flags is still under water. It just started raining again today and we’re under a flood watch again, so who knows what’s going to happen now?

crossposted from fuzzdecay.com.
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