rain

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

 

Last night’s drenching rain wasn’t a name-worthy event. It didn’t deliver a hurricane punch, it didn’t catapult geeky, meteorology terms like “derecho,” into the urban vernacular.

It was simply a strong southeast storm, punctuated by wind, twisters and a wide swath of precipitation — its tendrils dangling down to the Gulf.

curwx_600x405

 

But look at it from a local perspective.

This was not the gentle sprinkle of a watering can. This was Mother Nature yanking the dunk-tank lever.

Screen shot 2013-01-30 at 5.01.42 PM

 

 

And after a few hours the storm really flexed its muscles.

Screen shot 2013-01-30 at 4.48.33 PM

 Actually, this photo shows our cellar flooding. Again.You don’t see that? Look closer…. see… that’s 4 inches of rain pelting the already-saturated earth…

And… see there? That’s a jam in the sump pump’s vertical extension shaft, and groundwater burbling through the cellar floor. Now do you see?

Post-Sandy, this is familiar territory. When I heard the trickle of running water, I ran downstairs and scooped up the toys, floor rugs and the dirty laundry by the washing machine. Then I phoned Martin — who was working late. “The cellar’s flooding,” I said. “You need to fix the sump pump.” Then I went back to making crab cakes.

By the time Martin arrived, four to five inches stood in the cellar. But with some tinkering, the sump pump recovered; only a few damp spots remain.

Outside is a different story. Puddles, potholes and pasture depressions are flush with rain. The ground is spongy. Water is all around us.

Except that it isn’t.

There’s water, but not in the house — not from the taps. The pipes are dry because the well pump ceased operation. It flooded.

Which is kind of ironic. 

Because there is too much water, we have no water…

wellpump

Status: submerged

Law of Martin

 

Bigger is always better. That’s Martin’s motto.

Rent the stretch SUV, he’ll say. Reserve the biggest hotel room.

Order the super-sized sub.

Buy the 64-ounce water bottle and pack the largest backpack possible.

(On a related note: more also is better. Take 2 multivitamins a day? Martin takes 4.) 

Based on this logic I should’ve discouraged his offer to replace my rain gauge — a plastic beaker that logged a couple inches at a time.

Martin said he’d get a new one.

And he did.

The Stratus RG202 Long Term Professional Rain and Snow Gauge.

Which is not a rain gauge but “a precision weather instrument manufactured to United States Weather Bureau specifications.”

 

Looks like a bong pipe to me

 

It measures rain or snow to the nearest 1/100th of an inch. Which is great–

–if I ever grow up to be a meteorologist.

The outer cylinder of the RG202 accommodates up to 11 inches of precipitation.

 

Martin, demonstrating rainfall

 

And that’s downright scary. Judging from past weather events, 6 inches will raise a creek in the basement. So if we’re at 11 inches of rain (which equals 110 inches of snow)…

…we’re in big trouble.

Big. Not better.