OK, so I wanted to write this up because this is a collosal mess for me, though things have slowly worked out and my trauma is minor compared to some in my area...
On Friday the 18th, I went to school at my regular time... I left around 9:50 in the morning for my 11:00 class, and the day was already sopping wet with pouring down rain and stuff.
My school's in the North Hills area of Pittsburgh, which has experienced flood problems before, and I take Route 28 South to Route 8 North to get to my school and Route 8 in particular (where it meets with 28) has seen horrible flooding in the past (route 28 follows the Allegheny River BTW, and Route 8 meets it right where a creek dumps into the Allegheny).
OK, so I go to school... Everything's ok till about 2 miles out from my school I suddenly lose all power steering and my car almost goes off the road. If you've never lost Power Steering, you can still steer the car but it becomes incredibly difficult to control and very "stiff" to turn the wheel.
OK, I'm PO'd, and on top of it I get to the parking lot at school and someone's taken my Umbrella out so I'm bumpershoot-less.
I pop the hood, stand in the rain, get soaked, and look around while talking on the cell to my father. I find the problem though, as he points me toward the Serpentine Belt which is a belt on a car that weaves in and out of a bunch of sprockets and runs a few systems on most cars. On mine, it runs power steering among others. The belt's not broke, but it's off the sprockets/spindels.
So I threw a Serp belt, and while my car will run it also can damage it if I drive it, so I can't take this car home.
Topping all this off up to this point, is the fact I have tickets to see Mitch Hedberg at the Improv Friday evening, and I gotta be down where its at by 6:30, and that leaves me little time to get out of school at 3:20, go home, get cleaned up, go to my girlfriend's and get her, and be there on time.
OK, so the plan is that my father's gonna come down with a towtruck guy, and he's gonna ride home with the towtruck towing my car and he'll leave me HIS car (My car's a 94 Le Baron Convertible, and my dad's is a 94 Le Baron Sedan. Same engine). This should happen while I'm at school in my classes, and I should just emerge from class to see his car.
So I go to classes, which I had to be at because my school never cancels class even though 50% of the student body commute, and I have review for two exams on the following Tuesday (tomorrow). Class is boring as usual, but at least I learn that I'm in the top of my Managerial Accounting course which is getting me in good with my prof for it because he kind of mentors the students he feels will excel at things. Cool!
So I leave school at 3:20 after my last class, walk down, and what do I see but MY car still sitting inthe lot. not good because the rain's been non-stop and SUPER heavy all day because of Ivan's remnants. Not blowing a lot, but steady downpours.
I go get into MY car and wait... I make some cell calls because I'm kinda wondering where my old man is now. Problem #2 has arisen though, and it's that the force of these torrential downpours is forcing water INTO my car. My ragtop isn't holding up to this at all, and I'm sitting in a soaking wet interior... Not good at ALL.
I'm talking ot my mom trying to find out when dad left to see if he just left really late, and when I am here he comes... The towtruck dude goes right past me to a lot down a hill, and dad pulls up beside me... Now, my father's not the most civil/nice man on Earth, so he starts yelling at me (while I'm still on the phone) to get in his car... Why, I don't know, because I would've had to moved my car anyway to get it lined up with the towtruck's winch, and had to have gotten out anyway.
He finally leaves without me to get the towtruck guy (because I yelled at him to do so), and they come back, but because my father pissed me off so royally, I'm now kinda "rushed" and I forget some stuff in my car... Namely, my cell phone car charger. This'll be important shortly.
So finally my father leaves with the towtruck guy and my car, and I leave in my father's car. I tell them "Don't go back to route 8. If it wasn't flooded before, it is now, so follow me". I'm gonna go through an area north of my school called North Park, and I'm gonna go get on the Pennsylvania Turnpike which dumps onto Route 8 North of my school and the PA Turnpike's next exit is right down on route 28 a little closer to where I live.
It's sort of a long way around, but I know 8's a mess.
So what does the Towtruck guy do? Goes to route 8 and ignores me... Well I can't piss with them so I leave and head for North Park.
The road to get there is OUT on its lower portions... Big chunks of it gone, cops sending you away from that place, but fortunately I don't need the lower part so I go up where I need to be and get off at N. Park. NP's flooded though, so some roads are out. I weave my way through it though, and find myself on a road I know but parts of it are also out... Floods, mudslides, trees down, wrecks...
I wind up finally getting on a road that WILL come out on Route 8 RIGHT at the Turnpike exit. How I got on this road, I dunno, but I knew it when I got there and boy was I happy.
I'm heading maybe a mile from route 8 towards it, and guess what....
The SAME F'N BELT pops off my dad's car. I swear to god, same thing. We'll come later on Saturday find out that any amount of spray up into this cars will pop that belt off. It's a failing they have, but driving slowly through overflowing creeks is how yous tall your car out. In short, if it's flooding, don't take any of these cars out.
So I pull into a Sheetz, which is where I can limp my car to. It's on route 8. I leave it, tell them inside that it's broken and that I'm gonna try going home and someone will be up and tow it. They're ok with that.
So my dad will take 3 hours to get home... It's about 4:30 p.m. Friday now that I'm at Sheetz. Dad'll get home around 8 maybe, so 3.5 hours.
Sheetz is a cool enough place to be though because it's open 24 hours, gas is cheap so I can run my car with the heater on I just can't drive it, and I have food because Sheetz sells hoagies and coffee and nacho's... They're cool if you don't have them. I dunno how national Sheetz are.
Anyway, I talk to my mom some, my buddy Dan who lives in the city, etc., and none of them can come get me... Dan just won't because of the Comedy Club, and my mother can't because she's evacuating everything from the first floor to our 2nd because the flood waters are at the porch (My parents have no basement. OLD house).
On top of THAT, I can't find my girlfriend... She lives in a highly flood-prone area that's been evacuated twice this year already, and she's been evacuated again... I'm worried about her.
OK, so time rolls on... I get in touch with my girlfriend eventually, and she's ok and all that stuff. No problems, but her house is off-limits and she forgot her cell phone of all days. To make matters even worse, my phone's dying and because of my father's asinine behavior I forgot the car charger.
My phone dies, and now I'm having real trouble trying to coordinate anything with my girlfriend to come get me... But as it turns out, this all has happened in this ammount of time:
-PA TUrnpike's closed due to Landslide.
-PA Route 8's closed South-bound due to heavy flooding from 2 boroughs up.
-PA Route 28's closed off and on due to rockslides
-McKnight Road closed due to flooding
-Route 910 through Indianola Closed due to bridges out (people stranded)
-all back roads from where my girlfriend lives to route 8 (they all empty onto route 8 somewhere) are closed due to flooding, mudslides/rockslides, trees down, etc.)
So, basically, I'm stuck for the time being... I'm now using a pay phone, which I bet I paid out $11 in payphone useage trying to find a ride home and my girlfriend.
Eventually my father gets home and by 10 he determines that he WON'T come get me. He and my mother are afraid of going out in the bad weather and themselves getting stuck, which at the time (I'm sick, cold, in soaking wet clothes, and feel like crap overall and wanna get home) I was PO'd but over time I've decided that I just can't expect that of them...
The thing that irked me though is that I talked to police, truckers, etc., and all of them told me that the Turnpike and 28 were open so my parents COULD have gotten to me, but they were listening to the radio and were afraid so they wouldn't. I was right, and they weren't, but they never listen so whatcha gonna do, ya know?
So I try my girlfriend who FINALLY I get ahold of because they FINALLY let her in the house... She's just got a flooded basement, but the road she lives on, just about 8 houses down, there's entire houses gone. She was lucky.
She is amazed my folks won't come get me, but she can't get to 28 to get to the Turnpike to get to route 8... Crap. So, she gets in her truck and drives on her CLOSED road to get me. She's gutsy like that!
She comes, at approximately 11:30, and finally picks me up... I go back to her place and spend the night drying out and feeling like someone kicked me in the jimmy (heh), and I get home finally the next day at about 4 p.m. to survey the damage on my road... Cars swept away, houses destroyed inside... A mess.
So, that was my tale of Woe Friday... I had no idea when I got home that Chris had even done the server changes and stuff...
Luckily my parent's house was spared any damage. The houses down the road aren't so lucky, but nobody was hurt either in all of this. And my girlfriend rocks the house because she came and got me.
And Hurricane Ivan can eat a fat one.