How to boil water VS. Water, water everywhere

Abilene had it’s first ever boil water notice last Friday. It seems all the rain we’ve had has resulted in lower than normal water usage. Apparently, the amount of chlorine in the tap water goes down over time, so if Abileneians aren’t using as much water as normal the level of chlorine can drop to unsafe levels. So, for about 20 hours we were told to boil our water. This, of course, leads to articles in the newspaper and on TV with title like ‘How to boil water’.

Adding to our water woes, it rained hard on Friday night. Our neighbor’s rain gauge showed six inches of rain overnight. But, the rest of Taylor county south of Abilene got as much as ten inches of rain. The counties around Taylor county are a little weird in that the watershed flows north to Fort Phantom. So any rain that falls in southern Taylor county is going to flow north through the creeks in Abilene. About 7:30 a.m. Elm Creek overflowed it’s banks about a mile south of our house so about 8:30 our street looked like this:

The real street flooding was on the next street over on both sides of our street. Abilene doesn’t have any gutters or storm drains (at least in our part of the city). So in the flood prone areas of the city, every other street will have a lot of water when it rains hard. Our street is a ‘high’ street so we don’t see as much water as the street on either side of our street. This is what the Willis Street looked like, one street over from ours:

And again, the water on Minter, one street over on the other side of the alley (standing in front of Kelly and Candace’s house):

After a few hours, the gasoline, fertilizer, fire-ant, and snake contaminated water subsided and today the streets are as dry a bone. Welcome to West Texas 🙂

Bonus. 3.5 teeth

Update Aug 21, 2007: Candace has updated pics from her side of the street here.