So, last night (Friday) we had a bit of a gully washer here in Omaha. I was at work, and as my shift progressed, I noticed the sky getting darker and darker until it was pitch black. That’s about when the torrential downpour began. By time time my shift had ended, the rain hadn’t let up, and the basement at my work had flooded. I didn’t think much about this because it’s prone to flooding, as is our parking lot. Before I left work, I checked the weather warnings, and all I found was that there was a flash flood warning for a county in Iowa. Thinking I was safe, I decided to head home.
Now, have you ever seen those new videos where they show people, stranded in their cars, while the roads swell with flood waters? I’ve always watched those videos kind of judgmentally. I’m usually wondering what kind of idiot would go out in that weather in the first place. Now I know, because it turns out I’m that kind of idiot.
Honestly, things weren’t going well from the minute I left work. Like I said, the parking lot at work was flooded, but I’m so used to that I didn’t think anything of it. However, when I got out on the road, I noticed that the water seemed to be a little higher than was comforting. Plus, I kept having water go up the tailpipe and the van would fill with gas fumes. Which, is apparently a not so good thing, and probably should have been a big sign to me that I was probably in trouble.
And at this point you’re thinking, “You did the smart thing, pulled over, and waited it out. Right?”
Didn’t I mention before that I’m an idiot?
I did almost pull off at Village Inn near my work. My thought was that I could just wait out the storm there, but then I began wondering what I would do if the storm didn’t let up anytime soon. So, I pushed on for home. Such a huge mistake.
Most of L Street was under some water. There were actually multiple times that I found that the appearance of a road had completely disappeared. When I saw cars stranded I went from worried to really scared. I just began praying, “Jesus, just get me home. Please just get me home.” I didn’t make deal any deals with God, or anything like that. I just asked to get home safely. As soon as I could, I got off of L, and headed for Q Street, thinking that would be a better option.
Headed down hill on Q Street towards the intersection with 96th Street, I saw something I wasn’t at all prepared for. The entire intersection was completely underwater. Cars were stalled, and the rushing water was coming up to the hoods of large pickup trucks. Fortunately, there was a parking lot on the hill that I could pull in to. Sitting there, I felt trapped. I knew I couldn’t go back to L Street, and clearly I couldn’t get through the intersection at the bottom of the hill. It was late and dark and I was terrified and I was alone. Because I’m a drama queen, I had a brief moment where my mind seriously darted to the thought of, “What if this is it? What if I die here?” I briefly considered contacting those people in my life that are most important and telling them how important they are to me, and how much I love and appreciate them. Fortunately for them, no one received a phone call from a unnerved, terrified me, because as I sat there I decided to head back and try going a more roundabout way to get home, one that was likely to be less flooded.
Long, long story shorter, I did make it home. It took me an hour, compared to the normal 15 minutes. I did not make any embarrassing phone calls, or send any embarrassing texts. Not that telling people you love them is embarrassing. However I do believe you shouldn’t have to be wondering if you’re going to die in order to be prompted to let people know you truly care about them.
Also, I’m thankful that my stupidity didn’t actually end up on the news.