death on a rainy day
Friday, as you know, was my wedding anniversary. We had a great long lunch – just the two of us at our favorite restaurant in Bloomfield, Lot 17. But because our families have lives, we didn’t do much more. So, since there was impending rain, we decided to go to the Mall so the kids could run around and so us adults could partake in the Borders bankruptcy.
While we were at JC Pennys stocking up on long sleeve shirts for Luca, we heard the rain begin. Though, it sounded more than just some sprinkles, it sounded like a torrential downpour accompanied with some of the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard.
“Gosh, I’m glad we’re in here,” Matt said.
“Yah, me, too,” I replied, while Luca and Claire clung to my legs.
When we got home, I got an email from the Post Gazette with breaking news – the flash floods that just occurred took the lives of three people – with a fourth woman missing.
This is truly horrific, and here’s why. Yes, loss of life is tragic, but here’s what happened:
On a road that I travel weekly to Trader Joe’s, it suddenly flooded (as it has done in the past) with the water rising up to 6 feet. Witnesses said that there were people swimming on the side of the road. Some climbing to the tops of their cars. Others weren’t so lucky.
Of the three dead, two were children aged 9 and 12. They couldn’t get out of their van quickly enough.
Let that sink in for a moment.
I have three kids. Two of which are in five point restraints. If that was me, how in the hell would I get them unbuckled in time? How would I pick who to get first? I mean, that Mom had two kids in plain seatbelts and still they couldn’t get out in time. What if that were me? Thinking about it makes me sick.
The missing woman was found…on the river bank a few miles away. This is equally horrific – she was sucked through a manhole and dumped into the Allegheny River.
She was 72.
Just this morning, the kids and I drove on Washington Boulevard to get to Trader Joe’s. It’s a perfectly sunny day, with puffy clouds and a slight breeze. No rain in sight. But the road still looked horrible. Debris everywhere and that knowing feeling that tragedy just struck only a few days ago.
This is a well traveled road. For those not local, it connects a highway to the University of Pittsburgh, major hospitals and the residential parts of the city. When I lived in Oakland, I drove it daily.
I read somewhere that 60 pound manhole covers shot up like geysers and people thought the road was crumbling.
That had to be so scary.
I mean…what would you do if that were you?