I had never been so afraid while I was driving then I was the other day driving through the rain storm that briefly hit where I live in New York. Not even during the Winter have I ever been so afraid while driving. I generally try to stay calm in tough situations like this, but it was very difficult through this rain storm.
It all started when I was leaving my student aide job at my college campus for the day. It was around 5:30pm and usually the person whose shift is after mine arrives about 10 minutes or so before I get off. I had just saw her about a half an hour before hand so I figured she couldn’t be very far. I locked up, left my post, and started heading to my car. I knew it had rained quite a bit not to long ago so I figured it would be wet and still possibly be raining. Sure enough it was raining and I only had a sweatshirt to protect myself with. I had to walk to the furthest parking lot too (which is about 5-10 minutes away) in the rain, but it wasn’t coming down very hard so I didn’t really mind walking through it.
When I finally made it to my car the rain seemed to have slowed down. I got in and I started driving out of the parking lot. When I made it to the road the rain suddenly turned into a heavy down poor. I panicked a little because the water began to cover my windshield to the point where I couldn’t see through it. The wind picked up too and I noticed leaves were flying from the Fall turned trees and created what looked like a tornado of leaves. It did look really pretty, but in a sort of, “Oh my gosh, I could get killed if those leaves flew in front of my car and covered my windshield,” kind of way.
I began to debate whether or not I should pull over and wait out the storm or just drive home. I decided quickly that I wanted to just go home, but then I had to decide if I would take the back roads I would normally take or to stay on the main road as a precaution. “I’m sure the back roads will be fine,” I said to myself. I took the next right that led out to the back roads and not even 2 seconds after I reached this road did the wind pick up with the heavy down poor of rain. More leaves began to fly off the trees and the wind drove them and the rain directly at my car. I looked out in slight horror as I observed what looked like a monsoon forming before my eyes. I tried to remain calm while I eased up a bit on my speed till I could see clearer. “Maybe back roads aren’t the best idea…,” I said again to myself and no they weren’t because if the wind picked up down one of the back roads that are filled with trees then I’d be in an even worse situation.
I got back onto the main road as quickly as possible and continued my quest to make it home safely. Even on the main road, though, the rain would occasionally pick up and cover my windshield almost completely. The rain did eventually subside, however, but once I started driving down the Main Street of the city I noticed the cars in front of me began to slow down. I was a little confused as to why they slowed down because there wasn’t a traffic light ahead of them. My confusion quickly disappeared when I saw them drive through many inches of water. Shocked, I immediately slowed down as well and began to wade my tires through the slightly flooded streets.
At this point a few thoughts entered my mind, “What if my co-worker wasn’t 10 minutes early because she got caught in this storm? What if she possibly had an accident?” Worry for her began to set in before I realized I couldn’t let her concern me at this moment. As cold as it sounds, I needed to be more concerned with getting home safely and I needed to stay fully aware of the current road conditions.
Once I was out of the city and reached the main country roads it was mostly smooth sailing (no pun intended) the rest of the way home. The roads at this point were 55 mph speed zones, though, but I was sure to stay in the right lane where myself and others hovered around 40-50 mph. I did notice a lot of cars going about 60 mph in the other lane. I shook my head as I watched all the water fly up from behind them as they passed. They were practically a hazard waiting to happen and, even though I was anxious to get home at this point, I was perfectly content with my slower and safer speed.
Eventually I made it to my neighborhood and finally to my house. I pulled into my driveway and breathed a sigh of relief. All was not well yet, though. I was still worried about my co-worker and if she made it to the campus safely. I quickly gathered my things and ran inside my house. I was greeted by my mom who was quick to inform me that our Direct TV was out. I stared at her blankly for a few moments before I responded to her, “Well I just drove through some flooded streets and had to endure a pretty bad rain storm, but I’m sorry the Direct TV went out.” She laughed and apologized and told me that it didn’t rain that hard down here where we live, but it was still bad enough to knock out our TV signal.
Not very concerned with the TV, however, I took out my phone and called the number of where I work on campus. To my final relief, my co-worker cheerfully answered the call. I explained to her what I just had to drive through and that I was worried if she made it to the campus safely. She thanked me for the concern and told me that she had actually beat the storm on her way in and was only late because of a lot of red lights that stopped her.
After I was off the phone, I brought my things up stairs to my room, plopped down in my desk chair, breathed another sigh of relief, and started to reflect on what just had happened. I had made it out safely through one of the worst driving experiences I have ever endured in the last few years I’d been driving. I was very grateful and thankful that I was kept safe all throughout it too. Filled with joy and a sense of victory, I started to smile and then proceeded to unwind after such a long day.