TD Bill. Time for you to mosey.

The loud beeps from my work Blackberry and my personal iPhone have unnerved me this afternoon as they do.  Normally, when that happens it is at night, But this, Tropical Depression Bill I believe it is now called, has been pouring down the rain this afternoon.

The flash flood warning for the Beaumont-Port Arthur Metropolitan Area has been extended several hours until 7:45 p.m. CDT for all counties except for the northern part of Newton County. The National Weather Service office in Lake Charles, La., says one to three inches of rain has fallen over the area. I would have to guess that “locally” heavier amounts have fallen.

It's always raining something around Beaumont, Texas
It’s always raining something around Beaumont, Texas

Like all tropical systems, Bill has had its quirks. When it landed on the south-central Texas coast my area on the utmost Texas coast got a serving of on-and-off showers. This started happening more than 24 hours ago. I didn’t go out much yesterday, I had no need to do so. But I walked out a couple of times to the lightest of rain and a nice “breeze” of about 12 mph. As the storm degraded to a tropical depression, the rain has picked up in eastern Texas. Thus, the flash flood warnings.

Those of us here about 30 miles from the Gulf have slight elevation. Beaumont, where I live, is about 16 feet above sea level. I don’t know, if I ever knew, where that “mountain” of elevation is. Perhaps it is at Spindletop, the salt dome where the Lucas Gusher blew in on Jan. 10, 1901. That is the famous gusher that is known as the “birthplace of the modern petroleum industry.” Names such as Texaco and Gulf Oil became familiar after those companies started up after the gusher.

This is all to say that the area around Beaumont is mostly flat as an oil-topped pancake. I have seen a lot of water here in the nearly 10 years I have lived here. Or 12-something if you count two other times I was a resident here. Most of that water came in large amounts, such as with Hurricane Ike which was a flood-surging machine. Many of the other localized floods were just high enough to miss most automobiles. There is a trick in driving through street flooding, at least to get out of it. That involves not creating a wake. Just pretend you are driving a small fishing boat.

It’s still raining. I am no longer working for the week so I can kick back and stay out of the water unless someone wants to pay me to do so.

Bill will be problems for Oklahoma and then off to maybe the Tennessee Valley and beyond once it clears out. Hopefully, we won’t worry about ol’ Bill for much longer. I hope those beyond don’t have to fret about it either.


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