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The flood of ’97

Flood of '97

When the power came back on yesterday, after 3 hours of having nothing do to but read (actual books printed on paper and not blogs or news sites), I turned on my TV to see footage of a flooded Louisville, Kentucky. As I watched footage of 10,000 library books ruined at the main library and cars driving through newly made rivers, I thought “Wow, that’s just like the great flood of ’97!”

As I slowly approach the age of 30, there have been several indicators of the aging process that have nothing to do with grey hairs or the number of pills I pop at night. I can remember when Green Day’s first video played on MTV, and when I do the math I realize that was 15 years ago. The latest milestone I noticed is that I have disaster stories to tell the young kiddies.

In 1997, I lived in Louisville, Kentucky and after I returned home with my family from seeing the special edition release of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, I rushed to the basement to check that new-fangled thing called “e-mail.” I stopped on the third to last stair when I noticed that the floor looked rather shiny, far shinier than the textured linoleum usually looked. Then I realized I wasn’t looking at the floor at all.

“Mom,” I called up the stairs. “There’s water in the basement!”

“Where in the basement?” Her stressed voice called back.

“…everywhere.” And so it was that we waded through the basement, unplugging computers and picking up random floating objects, including a guitar case holding a remarkably undamaged guitar. The sump pump that was supposed to pump out over a foot and a half of water had broken and it took several days for all the water to finally drain back down into the sewer.

For the next week, my bus drove down I-71 to school which had turned into a land bridge, surrounded on both sides by water where usually there were roads and grass and houses. The tennis court at the Holiday Inn at the Zorn Avenue exit looked more like a water polo court. I had friends who could only leave their house by boat because the water had risen so high. River Road had actually become a river.

I wish the best for everyone down in Louisville, and I know in another decade people will be able to tell their own stories about the great flood of ’09.

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9 Comments

Elizabeth • August 5, 2009 at 11:08 am

Wow, what a trip down memory lane! I also grew up in Louisville, but was long gone by the time you got there. I lived in Middletown and haven’t been back for years, but the familiar names of the streets and stores is bringing it back in a good way. I will have to check on this flooding phenom. I remember the tornado which tore up Cherokee Park, but it was so long ago the year escapes me.

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Allison • August 5, 2009 at 2:13 pm

No one told me before moving to The Ville that it is a black hole of bad weather! In the last year we’ve had a record wind storm, ice storm and flood…feels a little Old Testament to me! It’s bad when the local news and radio stations make t-shirts saying, “I survived the wind storm” AND “I survived the 2009 ice storm.” Now to add the flood t-shirt to the collection…

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Quix • August 5, 2009 at 2:52 pm

Wow, I remember basements being flooded all the time when I lived in Chicago. I always made little boats out of paper and sailed them around.

I’ve been realizing how old I am lately too. I’m not quite at my 10 year college reunion, but just realizing 10 years ago I was about to enter my junior year of college boggles the mind. Crazy! At least I feel younger/fitter than I did then, for sure. That has to count for something, right?

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Diane, Fit to the Finish • August 5, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Those pictures on the television were amazing. I’ve visited Louisville, and never thought about the fact that a ton of rain would turn parts of it into a river.

My in-laws are in Key West, and they’ve been flooded several times. Not good.

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Rahim • August 5, 2009 at 8:57 pm

I know EXACTLY what you mean. I just turned 31 and one recurring memory for me from my childhood is the Van Halen video “Right Now”. Remember one of the “right nows” was “Right now your memory is getting LONGER, while your life is getting SHORTER”. Time is flying!!

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MissChef • August 5, 2009 at 10:40 pm

@MissChef – You’re very brave indeed to stand in water and work to unplug electrical devices. My hair is perming itself from just reading that!

=================8-O

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Kimberly • August 5, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Ah yes, old media can sure come in handy in times of electrical/technological failure.

And while Hurricane Ike didn’t flood my neighborhood it sure tore up parts of Houston and Galveston. That sort of disaster is just the worst because you can lose everything. My heart goes out to Louisville.

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Laura P. • August 6, 2009 at 11:57 am

I’m sure going through the “age thing”. I’m 46, which used to seem so old, until I got here! The weird part for me is that I don’t feel 46. i don’t feel grown up. I feel like I’m in my 20′s (mentally anyway). I’ll hear songs on the radio (classic rock, of course) and I’ll remember what I was doing when that particular song was popular. Then I realize that was 30 years ago. THIRTY YEARS!!! Good Grief!

I can’t believe how quickly the last 20 years have flown by. Now I’m closer to the big 5-0 than I am to 30. I mean, getting older sure beats the alternative, but it would be nice to have it slow down just a bit.

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Sky • August 7, 2009 at 2:08 am

Hi, I just found your site, and I like the way you write. It’s like reading a book rather than the mindless slop I once thought all blogs were composed of. I’m fat, and I think I’m planning on using your blog to help me.

I’m 240, which isn’t terribly bad until I explain that I’m 5’0″ and a quarter of an inch tall.

I found your site, oddly, but search “bloody vagina”. I just thought that was odd. Heh. Maybe I’ll start a blog too, it’s probably harder than it looks but It’ll help my writing at least.

Sorry to ramble though, Heh.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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