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18 Dec 2014
The Storm of the Century
The Storm of the Century|sophie-world.com

It’s rare that weather in the SF Bay Area makes news.  We live in an area known for its predictable climate.  We get a little fog, a little rain, we get a touch of drought every few decades, but most of the time, it’s pretty mild.  Other than the fact that in less than 50 square miles you may find no less than 7 "micro-climates", we are usually chillin’ at a partly sunny 55 degrees. Day in and day out.

However, this past Thursday was something completely different!  We had a taste of what Mother Nature doles out to other parts of the Country.  We had our own...STORM OF THE CENTURY.  Okay, okay, that’s a little overblown, but it sure rained a lot!

We had 2 big Christmas parties that day, one in SF and one about 30 miles south, plus a huge weekend ahead.  We were so busy that Freda was spending the week with us. She needed extra work hours to get everything prepared.  We spent Wednesday evening joking about how freaked out everyone was about the storm.  All of us, including my husband, are from the East Coast, and so the notion of a little extra-heavy rain and wind doesn’t really phase us.  We’d lived through hurricanes and floods for goodness sake.  We all went to bed that night, chuckling about how our over-reactive City had shut down schools before a drop of rain fell.

Thursday morning arrived with nary a raindrop.  Freda and I were sipping our coffee heartily chastising the weatherman, when the skies opened up.  It was crazy.  All of a sudden there was rain.  As if someone had pushed a button on the jungle ride at Disney.  Freda and I literally both made the “Home Alone” face at the same moment.

The magnitude of the storm didn’t hit though until I reached our warehouse. There was a waterfall pouring down inside our back door.  The warehouse was flooding!  Quickly Freda and I diverted the stream with well wedged t-shirts, rags and buckets.  Fortunately, this seemed to be the only breach in our warehouse.  

The real excitement didn’t start until about 8:00am.

Biggest Storm in the Bay|sophie-world.com

The street outside our warehouse

 

Our warehouse is in an industrial park, with a long driveway leading back from the main road.  The complex itself has pretty good drainage.  The street out front is a completely different story.  At 8:30 Annette, my beloved assistant, called.  She couldn’t get through the streets. The road was flooded.  I told her to park where it was dry and I’d come get her in "Pig", our van.

Biggest Storm in the Bay|sophie-world.com

 

The view from the van

The street wasn’t just flooded, it was non existent.  The water was up to the bottom of my door.  My bumper was literally parting the waves.  That’s when I started to panic. What if we got trapped and couldn’t get to our events?  What if we couldn’t get back that night and load for the next day?  What if we couldn’t get back to Freda?  We’d have to move to higher ground.  Luckily, my home is on the side of a hill.  So we ran back to the warehouse, grabbed everything we needed for the day, and headed to my house, where we set up command central.  

I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to get back in and load out our Friday event, a huge corporate event where we were taking care of everything from the decor, to the snack bags.  It would be a huge mess if we ended up empty handed because we couldn’t get to our space.  There are no excuses for a party planner.  

The answer?  Rent a big 16 foot truck and rescue the party supplies!  This turned out to be trickier than we imagined, as basically every juncture was either flooded, shut down, or blocked by some poor submerged vehicle.  When we did actually reach the road to our warehouse we found a man kayaking down the center of the street!  That’s right...kayaking!

Mind you, all this excitement took place before 10:00 in the morning.  We still had events to run that day!  But having solved the issue of getting out all our supplies I was able to head on my way down south knowing that even though the storm was raging, we were prepared.  

Biggest Storm in the Bay|sophie-world.com

Notice the small dot in the background- that's the kayaker!

Like the mailman...neither hail, nor sleet, nor streets turned into pathways for Noah’s ark, shall deter this party planner!