The Rainstorm of a Century – At Least a Year

We are definitely in a drought in our part of Tampa. Before yesterday evening, it had been a good 3-5 months since our last decent thunderstorm. Both of the retention ponds in our development were threatening to completely dry up and are pretty good eye-sores at the moment.

We finished up dinner and were catching up on Dr. Phil and noticed a very slight sprinkle on what water remains in the pond. Sprinkle turned to a steady shower. I commented that I’d love it to just rain like this for 4 days and get the level back where it looks nice again. A 10 or 12 year old girl had been outside earlier and I guessed that the water was a good 4′ lower than the grassline and figured it would take a good week or so of evening showers to fill that up.

Shower turned to a downpour. Downpour turned to pausing the DVR and sitting to watch the rain instead of the TV. Water was running down the lanai screen, running down the street and taking garbage cans with it, and washing every bit of dirt and debris into the pond and creating a swirling current from the volume of water entering from one point. Photos do not do it justice.

By 9pm, the pond was completely full for the first time since October. Going to bed after American Idol, there was a cacophony of happy creatures sounding off in the peaceful drizzle that continued into the night. I’m happy to report that this morning found a still-full pond.

The first photo is from December and the second one is from May 9th with the rest of them being from last night.  The constant in the different shots is the concrete lift station to measure the water height. Notice the corner of the one night time photo – it was the end of a huge lightning strike. It’s blurry because I jumped as the shutter went.


  1. I miss Florida so much. I should have went to tampa. Had I did that I probably would still be living there.