That was the most rain that I’ve seen in a 36-hour period that I can remember.
I mean, it was pouring.
Like many of yours, my house was a zoo.
The cat was mad he couldn’t go out. The three kids were inside, cooped up, loud and hyper.
There was a three-foot copperhead snake that found its way to our house, snuggled up against our garage door to try and get out of the rain. My wife screamed, I panicked and the snake got away, although I’m 95 percent sure he’s not in our garage.
We took a few family walks in the pouring rain down to the greenway across the street from our Matthews home and it was crazy. The creek sometimes has no water, but mostly a light flow. On those two days, it raged 40 or 50 feet or more over its banks and flooded everything.
But we’re the lucky ones.
The greenway is back to normal other than a few muddy paths and grass leaning due to the weight of the water.
The cat is outside again and happy.
The kids are finally at school again and hopefully getting out some of their energy.
So, life is back to normal for me.
But for many it’s not.
Union County Public Schools won’t return to class until Thursday, but Charlotte-Mecklenburg and N.C. Independent schools are back in class as of Sept. 18.
But what are they going to do about all of those missed sporting events?
And what about other counties and school districts? What’s going to be done?
The answer is I’m not sure, but several games are already lost and likely not going to be made up around here.
Union County Public Schools Athletic Director Doug Jones responded to an email and provided me answers that will likely apply to all of our coverage area, which includes Matthews, Mint Hill, Union County and south Charlotte.
Jones said the missed games will not affect playoff seeding, and that Maxpreps.com, which now seeds NCHSAA playoff brackets effective last season, has a formula to determine seeding.
But as for all of the rain and soggy fields still left in our area?
“It is treated like any other rainy season (and) especially the spring,” Jones said. “The AD, coach and principal deem whether or not their fields are playable. Canceling and rescheduling is a school-level decision unless we have a mandated decision from the superintendent and his cabinet staff.”
That hasn’t happened, so games can begin Thursday unless the fields are unplayable.
Jones said his district along with the NCHSAA and NCISAA held football games on Sept. 12 (a Wednesday) or Sept. 13 in advance of Hurricane Florence, so that sport is safe for now.
But, Rodd Baxley, a reporter for the The Fayetteville Observer, tweeted out a picture of the Lumberton High School football field fully submerged in water aside from a small island of land in the very middle.
And that’s obviously how it is in Fayetteville and many eastern counties, and especially so closer to the coast and Wilmington where Florence made landfall.
New Hanover, Brunswick and Onslow County schools tweeted they will be out of class for at least the remainder of this week.
And there are many more like that.
Roberson County Schools, a district that includes St. Pauls, Red Springs, Purnell Swett, South Roberson, Lumberton and Fairmont high schools, is closed “until further notice.”
And there are more districts like that.
The NCISAA and NCHSAA govern many schools in this predicament.
So when will all of those games be played, made up or when will athletics in general return to some of those regions hardest struck by the force of Florence?
The answer is nobody knows.
Representatives from the NCHSAA and NCISAA couldn’t be reached by our press deadline, but here’s what they said before the storm.
“At this time, it is premature to think about whether the regular season will be extended, and playoffs pushed back,” NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker said in a statement released Sept. 11. “Any announcement, if necessary, would come from the NCHSAA office at the appropriate time and would be communicated to member schools before it is communicated to media and the general public via the association website.”
The NCHSAA was scheduled to host regional meetings across the state this week, but haven’t made a statement as of Sept. 18 regarding athletics.
Nor has the NCISAA.
But Jones thinks the track record of both organizations says they will get this right.
“The NCHSAA has always been on top of difficult situations in my 33 years,” Jones tweeted as a reply to a Tweet of mine. “There’s no doubt they are already monitoring the entire state and will make the best decision possible for all of the states’ entities. They are one of the hardest-working groups.”