We got quite a storm last night. Queen Creek got over 2 inches of rain in just a little over two hours. Unfortunately, a lot of it ended up in Brian and Carrie’s house. It seems there was a natural wash that came through the development and should have gone west and behind their house. The developer had blocked it with a wall behind the lot next door to Brian’s house. So water flowed down the mountain, through the development, hit that wall, and turned toward Brian’s property. It overflowed the berm Brian had built up last year after getting water through his property. Because of the amount of rain last night, and the runoff from the mountain and area above them, it flooded them.

About 9:30, Brian had checked his garage because it was raining so hard, and he noticed there were a few inches of water in there. He and Carrie pulled every towel, blanket and rug out of their linen closet and stuffed it at the door from the garage into the house. Within a short time, water had soaked their three foot high pile and was creeping into the house. All their efforts did manage to keep it partially contained to about half the house. It soaked the family room, living room, dining room and part of the playroom.

Outside, there was deep water over the entire property. The pool was totally underwater, and water was rising against the wall on the north side. There was so much flooding, they couldn’t get their cars out, and some of their neighbors were in the same predicament. They called the fire department, who came and evacuated them.

This morning, the water had nearly all subsided. If only it had taken the mess with it! Yuck! Mud everywhere. I have to admit, it looked a lot better in the daylight, and we got to work. Several friends and family were there, neighbors came to help, and by about 10:30, there were at least 15 people pushing mops, shoveling mud, pulling up carpeting and taking loads of laundry to their own homes to wash. Some of Brian’s co-workers brought a Bobcat to scrape the driveway and one neighbor had a power washer he brought over. It’s good to have friends and family!

Surveying the damage, it appears they will need to replace some drywall, baseboards and carpet. No furniture was damaged, and thankfully, they have lots of tiled area that was unscathed (once we got the mud washed off!) The water made it down the hall and into one bathroom, but stopped short of all the carpeted bedrooms.

We don’t know whether there is any structural damage to the house or pool, but hopefully not. It drained off pretty quickly, so that helped. Channel 12 news was on the scene last night just as Brian and Carrie and the kids were leaving. The film crew showed up again this afternoon and shot some footage of the cleanup. It aired at 5:30 this evening, and is also posted online at this site. Click on “Queen Creek residents clean up after storm”. A little explanation: Carrie and Brian’s home was not “ruined” as the reporter says. And Carrie’s quote was taken out of context. She was giving a hypothetical example of their fears last night. They have not lost their home. It’s just some damage, and all fixable. They are thankful it wasn’t worse, and that they had moved several thousand dollars worth of therapy equipment, furniture and supplies from the garage to the school just last week.

I took some pictures today, and posted several on my gallery. I’m exhausted tonight. It’s hard work cleaning up like that. Hopefully, everyone else is getting some rest tonight.

Brian and Carrie were overwhelmed with emotion over the help from family, friends and neighbors today. They both cried as they remembered three years ago when people poured out their hearts and help to make Lauren’s transplant possible.

I saw the latest installment of Harry Potter movies this morning. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” came out last weekend. Carrie and I always go see them together, and she and I were joined by Glenda, Tonya and Kelsey. I hope I don’t ruin it for any of you if I tell you several major characters were still alive at the end of the movie.

I did a bit of snooping around the internet this morning because I wanted to read the spoilers on the last book in the Harry Potter series, which came out this morning. The author, J.K. Rowling, previously announced that one or more major characters dies in the end. I know who it — or they — are, but I won’t spoil it for anyone who wants to read the book without knowing. That might be a bit like telling Daryl the UA won a basketball game before he had watched the final seconds. You just don’t want to go there!

After the movie, we headed over to L.I.F.E. for a tour. It opened this week, and they gave therapy to a few children, including (of course) LAUREN, the star of the show! The construction is complete, supplies are in, computers are hooked up, the receptionist is on duty, and applications of the 300+ children on the waiting list are beginning to be read. They are fully staffed. Several therapists who were previously uninterested changed their minds when they saw the facility. It’s beautiful. I took some pictures, which I’ll post later.

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my iPod? I’m downloading five more audio books to it as I speak (er, type). I look like one of those teenagers you see walking around the mall with their earphones in. I’m always listening to it! I found a way to convert my digital camera videos to MP3s (with a free software I downloaded) and I now have cute videos of Nathan just beginning to toddle, Megan tap dancing across the stage, Lauren climbing the slide ladder and Steven reading a book, on my iPod. I also have my latest photos and some of my favorite Christian music stored there. I’ve been such an advocate, Glenda is going to buy one.

And yes, the rumors appear to be true. Marvell has a chip inside the iPhone. Our stock went up quite a bit on Friday. It’s a pretty cool phone, but the hefty price tag (and AT$T contract) make it impractical. I’ve read several articles about why NOT to buy an iPhone, and that makes me feel a little better. I just don’t have the abundant cash lying around to throw into this device. (I’m shopping for a new laptop. More about that on a future blog entry.)

It’s 115° today, so not a good day to have a barbecue or sit outside watching fireworks. This is a good day to stay inside or soak in the pool. My church (Central Christian Church of the East Valley) always has a Fourth of July event, with food, games, concert and a huge fireworks show. We draw around 30,000 people to the campus. I’ve gone many years, but sometimes I decide I just can’t bear the heat. This year is one for the latter. I’m staying home!

Dayna and Devon both graduate from college with their Bachelor’s degrees this year, and we are having a celebration weekend for them. Devon graduated with high distinction from Harvey Mudd College in May, and landed a new job with SubSurface Exploration Company. Dayna graduates from University of Phoenix on Saturday, and she has done it while working full time and raising a family of 4. I’m very proud of my niece and nephew. We are having a party on Sunday at Brian and Carrie’s house. (Yes, there will be swimming!) Richard, Dianna, Dayna, Chris and the kids will be staying with me for the weekend. It’s been several years since I’ve seen the Jennings, so will be so good to catch up. We’re still not sure if Devon will be able to make it home from his new job (in Pasadena) but we’ll toast him even if he’s not here!

Well, speaking of house guests, vacuuming and laundry beckon. I know, it’s not a very exciting way to spend the holiday, but hey … it beats one hundred and fifteen degrees!

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