FLOOD!

Perth City Wednesday 21st July

I had been aware that it had been raining heavy all night and when I got up in the morning, running late as usual, I didn’t think about the rain beating down on the roof. I couldn’t find my boots quickly enough so just shoved on my trainers and ducked out the door. The city centre was very wet but just had a few big puddles littering the streets. I got to the bus stop, thankful for my storm proof jacket, and had to jump over a rather large puddle to get on the bus. The driver advised me that the Crieff road was a bit flooded but he would try and pull into a drier part for me. I thanked him and took my seat not thinking it could be that bad. How wrong I was! We came over the railway bridge and into a biblical storm. The rain was lashing and the road was under a foot or so of water. The mini roundabout was barely visible at the edge of the flood and the other 2 roads leading off it were closed and I could see what looked like a river or mini loch happily expanding over Feus Road. The bus driver dropped me off a bit further up the road than usual as the bus stop was under ankle deep water (and that was on the pavement). Hood up tight I walked the 100 yards or so to work which thankfully was on slightly higher ground and not flooded, once there I called my mum who lives down the road and at the worse of the flooding and found she already knew as she had went into her kitchen and found it full of water and when she opened the back door the patio was nowhere to be seen under the new pond. Luckily for her the kitchen is sunken and has a step of a few inches to get into the dinning room or hall and this probably saved the rest of the ground floor.

The rain calmed as the day went on and I supported a service user into town which wasn’t really affected by the flood with the roads and pavements clear with only a few basements needing pumped out. On the way back we noticed a police sign on the Crieff road and were worried that the road was closed but it was just a danger sign as a manhole cover had blown when the flood hit in the morning and the pressure not only moved the cover but also a fair chunk of road and the area was littered with large chunks of tarmac, am very glad I hadn’t been there when that happened.

Sweeping the water under the fence

After work I walked around to mums place to see her and my sister and her family who had flown up from London for a visit. I went round the back as I had no boat to get down the main road which was still flooded and was now full of firemen and pumps. The back street and pavement were clear, as was the main part of garden but the patio was only passable with wellies or by jumping between sandbags. The drains were spewing up water and the vent under the house was throwing out water too. The neighbours daughter was standing sweeping the water under the fence to her garden where a industrial pump was pumping it out to the back street where the drains were still functioning. I jumped the bags and into a slightly sodden Kitchen, the water had dropped enough that at least it was no longer filled with water. Not sure how they got the kids and stuff into house, but they did, but unfortunately without luggage as the airline had misplaced it! Between us we kept sweeping the patio water under the fence until it levels dropped enough that we could move the pump between the gardens without the other one rising dangerously high again. Eventually we could actually see the paving slabs and could take the lino off the kitchen floor and give the floor a sweep and clean.

Out the fr0nt the water levels were high and it was like walking out the front door at a loch side. Fortunately for us the water reached the front garden but not the door, guess the old Victorian drains and foundations aren’t all bad, the people over the street were not so lucky. I got some shots as the water receded a little and I felt a bit safer standing on the sandbags at the front gate. There were pumps and firemen everywhere, all working hard to uncover the street again. It was well into the evening before the street was anywhere near passable but it still had open drains as the manhole covers were missing. We found out from a neighbour that the problem was that the old drain had been slowly blocking with silt and were now 70% Silt, the local councilor who lives in the street had been campaigning to get it fixed and had won and the work was to start next week. Too late unfortunately for the residents.¬† The old blocked drain could not deal with the quantity and speed of the rainfall and panicked!

The worse of the flooding at the front of the house

Today though is a warm and bright day and it seems impossible that yesterday was so wet, the center is all dry and sunny like nothing ever happened. However for those in the flooded areas there are ruined kitchens and wet foundations and floors to remind them of yesterdays weather tantrum. Thanks and praise have to be given to the fire brigade  and the people in the neighbourhood (especially my mums lovely neighbours) who all chipped in to clear the flood and save as much of the houses as possible.

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