Wednesday, March 18, 2009

All Wet

A few days ago, I promised that my column would contain an interesting term for a torrential downpour.

Well, I had 14 pages of notes to weave into 800 words about the proposed detention basin in Overton Park and that one phrase — no matter how much I liked it — simply did not make the cut.

But, luckily, someone invented the internet, and now we have unlimited room to say whatever we might have left out elsewhere.

So I was talking with George Cox, senior design engineer at the city, and he said that the proposed basin would drain within eight to 10 hours of a hard rain. Then he followed it up with this:

"Who's walking their dog when it's raining like a frog-strangler?"

If this is already part of your vocabulary, I just have one question: Why haven't you said it in front of me?

Cox also explained that the term "100-year storm" means there is a 1 percent chance in ANY year of a storm that heavy occurring. A 20-year storm has a 5 percent chance of it occurring any year; a 5-year storm has a 20 percent chance of happening each year. So you could, conceivably, have two 100-year storms two years, or even two weeks, in a row.

But that's enough math for today.

For those who want more info, there is a new Save the Greensward website. Or you can look for your brand-new Flyer — it's got a gun on the cover and should be on the Memphis streets by this afternoon — and read my column.


Richard Fudge said...
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Richard Fudge said...

I heard frog-strangler when I lived in Arkansas.

Other funny downpour phrases:
pair them up Noah one more time