Central Florida news teams were positioned to cover what they thought would be the big news of the night—the election—and had to scramble when the weather took center stage.

Have you ever stood in the ocean and had a wave suddenly break over your head? Now imagine that the wave doesn't recede, but continues to pour over you for half an hour, and you have a picture of yesterday's rainstorm. If there's been a heavier downpour in all our 20-some years here, I don't remember it.

I like weather, if I'm watching it from a safe position, and might have thoroughly enjoyed the experience if Janet had been home with me. Instead, I took the storm as a call to prayer, since she was out running errands. I'm sure I was almost as glad to hear the sound of the garage door opening as she was to be driving in. On the main highway, a truck (driving at all of maybe 35 mph) completely enveloped her little car with spray as it passed, blinding her for several seconds. Once in the neighborhood, the main street, even at the top of the hill, was flooded to the sidewalks, and visibility was nearly zero. Just after the storm passed over us, it turned vicious, spawning a tornado that divested some houses in Oviedo of their roofs.

I don't know what effect the storm might have had on the election, but I'm sure that many people driving home from work through the deluge decided not to bother to stop at the polls on the way. I had voted earlier in the day, my usual hodgepodge procedure of voting for whoever I like best, Republican or Democrat. I suppose you could say I "won," since the election went my way on about 2/3 of the issues. However, I'm not rejoicing, since I lost on the only issue I really cared about. Seminole County had the opportunity to authorize a very small ad valorem tax for the purpose of purchasing environmentally sensitive lands and developing recreational trails and pedestrian bridges, and it failed 51% to 49%. I'm guessing too many people voted reflexively anti-tax. Not that I blame them entirely, as that is my own tendency, but in this case the cost was small and the benefits enormous; we have lost a great opportunity.
Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 at 8:07 am | Edit
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Wow. The biggest downpour I remember was when we were doing that parade and it rained 5 inches in - how long? A short time. That was fun, though!

Posted by joyful on Thursday, November 09, 2006 at 8:09 am
Ah, yes! "Santa Salutes the Soaps" -- I remember Dad driving the Caravan with the windows down in all that rain, because that's the only way he could see anything at all. That was five inches in about an hour and a half. I can't compare the rate of rainfall, because this storm didn't hit the airport the way it hit us. (As you know, we live where it can be raining in the back yard but not the front.) But it was probably similar -- now imagine it at night instead of during the day, and think how black it was! Here's another memory from the parade: "We were one of the few units to complete the parade. Porter’s driest foot was the one where his shoe had a hole in it, allowing the water to drain out." We all eventually dried, as did the cars -- but the woodwinds had to have their instruments completely re-padded.

Posted by SursumCorda on Thursday, November 09, 2006 at 8:35 am
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