Well Saturday was a fun day. Though the heat wasn't as bad as it has been it was still 88 degrees and very humid. We were warned that there were severe thunderstorms approaching and sure enough are 2 in the afternoon the clouds burst and in about an hours time Cambridge Ma. received 3.3 inches of rain. The most in the area overwhelming drainage systems everywhere in several Boston area communities but Cambridge got smacked the worst. I was working and my store is a very old building. It dates back to at least 1860 when it was a large barn for horse drawn trolleys. Later it became a can barn for electrified trolley's Here's a shot of it in and around 1893 to 1897.
This is it today. (Not my photo. found on the web.)
Everything you see on the roof in the old picture is still there it's just behind the front facade. Anyway so much water came down in such a short time that all the drains and toilets in the front part of the store (which is facing right towards the parking lot) backed up a spilled onto the sales floor right at the registers. Water was rushing in the door(lower right hand corner of the building). Downstairs where the employee restrooms and lunchroom is located flooded with about 6 or 7 inches of water. The rest of the basement which is a labyrinth of corridors and large areas,presumably to store the trolleys was also flooded. By the way the the store basement extends under the street where there is a bricked up tunnel that led to the Mt. Auburn Cemetery across the street. This way they could descreetly take bodies to the cemetery without carrying them across the street. There was a concern that the water would hit the boilers and potentially explode. They debated evacuating the store. Outside a wire that powers the electric trolley buses in this area, was down.
This is not my photo. It just happens to be a photo of a trolley bus I found it on the web and it happened to be across the street from my store. You can see the contact poles on the roof of the bus. The fire department was out on the streets and traffic was snarled all over the area. One tunnel in neighboring Somerville was flooded with 10 feet of water. This all happened in an hour. That's why they call it a flash flood. Now I won't begin to compare this to some of the major floods that has devistated some areas of the country. The Charles River which is about a mile from the above photos didn't rise over it's banks because, I'm guessing here, it wasn't a very long storm. If the river did rise it would have flooded two main arteries on eother side of the river and that would have really caused a huge mess. As it was my drive home (5 miles) which usually takes 20 to 30 minutes at rush hour took about 75 minutes. I had to cut through Harvard Square which is normally full of hustle and bustle anyway.
This part of Harvard Square (My picture from January 2008). I drive in this way every morning using the road in the center of the picture. Coming home Saturday I was on the road on the left. The place was packed with cars and a good portion of my time was spent here just sitting in gridlock.
Fire update. I have yet to hear what caused the fire a few days ago but I did find out that 13 people escaped unharmed. Several of the structures on that block are 100 years old. That area used to zoned for commercial use and a train used to stop just across the street. Some of the train tracks are still there. The particular place that burned down had a pharmacy and a cleaner as late as the 1970's. Then they building was converted to apartments. Here are some pictures of the rubble the next day.
The brick apartment building one the right used to be another old wooden house that was destroyed by fire fire 40 years ago. The building on the left was also a commercial structure converted to apartments. It is about as old as old as the one that burned.
Here's a shot from my driveway. The brick apartment building is a bit left of center in the shot on the corner of my street and the street perpendicular to it.
Sunday was a rather uneventful day thankfully though I did watch a very good movie called Shutter Island with Leonardo DiCapario. A great twist ending. Monday I worked till 3:30 then I went back at midnight for an overnight inventory out at 6 a.m. Pretty much a lost day.
So here I sit on tuesday finishing up a blog that I started on Saturday. It's still hot and humid. At least it's not 100 degrees. At 7:55 I sit here drinking coffee when I should be sleeping. I had to work till almost 7. I made a slight $15,000 mistake. It actually wasn't my mistake per se. The scanning gun read 4-6 oz. containers of parmesian cheese as 4 pallets of apples. My mistake was not looking at the little screen on the scanning gun and catching it. Fortunately it can be corrected when you look at a print out. Before I left I happened to look at our daily departmental mail. The pickle barrel we have on the sales floor is no longer allowed. It's been there for as many years as I can remember. No reason was given but you can rest assured there was some disastrous pickle tragedy somewhere.
Alright this has gone on long enough. Ive been awake for 25 of the last 27 hours.
I'm outta he....zzzzzzzzzz