Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Midnight assist

Last night was interesting.  As has become the standard pattern for the NTX region, it rained hard during the day.  It has done that for 19/25 days this month.  All the area lakes are overflowing.  All the bar ditches are swamped.  There is standing water in fields that is beginning to look like lakes themselves.  Yesterday, the dam at Bastrop State Park failed.  Here are a pair of photos of that event. One showing the initial breach, the other, showing the aftermath.  (This occurred well south of DFW and us.)
Bastrop State Park dam failure

Panorama of the state lake, drained

For a change, it was actually not raining by the time I went to bed last night.  DH wasn't home, as he was able to get the swing shift on maintenance at holiday pay +10% shift differential.  So he went off to work before the late afternoon rains came and went.

Being on maintenance, he got the joy of driving all over NTX last night, trying to get cabinets back on power.  He was supposed to get off around 23:30.  It didn't quite happen that way.

On his last trouble ticket of the night, he discovered the tall grass in the bar ditch beside the cabinet wasn't as dry as it first appeared.  His very heavy work van promptly got stuck.

I got a text from him, telling me he was stuck, and the county road he was on.  Because I knew where that road was, I offered to bring out a tow chain so that when the midnight shift guy got to him, there would be a chain to help pull him out of the ditch.  I told DH to send me a Glympse (gps tracking program) so I would know just where he was.  He did so.  I never got it.

When I got to the end of the county road in question, I called him, as he was nowhere to be seen.  He asked what I was doing going that direction?  It soon became clear that while I had indeed driven all of the county road I knew was numbered that way, there was another road with the same number a long ways from where I was.  Figures....

Eventually I make my way out past the airport to the ditch wherein rested DH's work van.  The mosquitos were so thick it was like fog...and me in not much more than the PJ's I was sleeping in when he first texted me!  I realized that if DH had to wait until the midnight guy could get out there to tow him out, it was going to be after 02:00 before he got home.  And DH had to be in at work today for his regular 07:00 shift.

So I decided to see if my old Toyota Sienna mini van would have enough engine to pull him out.   DH got down in the ditch to hook the chain onto his van.  After performing a graceful 18-point turn to get my Toyota turned around without getting stuck in the ditch myself, DH hooked the tow chain to my hitch.  Putting it in Low, and taking it slow and easy, together we managed to pull/drive his van back onto pavement.
Old picture of my van.
It was late, and I could hear bed calling my name.  DH still had to go back to the garage for paperwork.  He did get home earlier than if he had waited until the midnight guy got there.  Still, he is running quite short on sleep today, and I am hoping he will sleep well tonight, provided the latest round of incoming storms don't keep us up.

Our next round of storms.


  1. That first picture is terrifying. Hope things quiet down there and soon!

    1. They almost lost the dam at Padera Lake in Midlothian TX this morning...barely saved it. Now they are digging an overflow relief channel before more rain hits.

  2. You rock.. Glad to hear everyone made it home!


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