Rising Tides

By Alex F.

As I drove back to OES from my SAT class at six in the evening on the 17th, I was surprised to find the highway moving at a crawl. Usually a little bit of rain doesn’t faze resilient Portlanders, who push through the minor flooding to get to their destinations. Unaware of the true extent of the situation that evening, I calmly pulled onto the on ramp of the highway and into a three foot deep puddle–though I would more likely call it a lake. It became suddenly clear to me why the on ramp was so abandoned, as I plowed through the waves created by a gray Subaru, gritting my teeth and praying my car was water tight.

Finally getting onto the highway, the situation was not much better. Everyone was driving under twenty miles per hour while sheets of water pounded the windows of my car. I do recall being quite irritated that I had to turn up my music to hear over the rain. Water pooled by the barriers and horns honked, while a man stood by his car in the shoulder, attempting to push his vehicle against the rising water. Eventually, after almost an fourty-five minutes, I was able to arrive at Beaverton Hillsdale Highway. Once more, I was forced to plow through a few feet of water to actually pull off the highway off ramp, which inexplicably sloped downwards, like everywhere else I had to drive. Once I reached the intersection between Olson and Scholls-Ferry, I decided in my infinite wisdom to drive through the Montclair neighborhood–of course going the speed limit, I would never disrupt the peace. Halfway down the road, another lake presented itself. As I attempted to drive through, I soon realized that the water was deeper than anywhere I had driven that night. With panic, I turned around and drove all the way back to Scholls-Ferry, adding almost three extra minutes in my already hour long drive. Finally arriving at OES after all my trials and tribulations, I was forced to walk through the downpour, causing myself to get mildly wet and very uncomfortable for the next ten or fifteen minutes. I recommend readers carry rain jackets or umbrellas so they don’t have to get as wet as I did in that thirty second walk this beautiful Portland November.

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