5:15 - Our driver in Minnetonka calls to say he can't see the road and needs to stop for a bit.
5:20 - Our driver in St. Louis Park says the storm just hit him and he might be late.
5:30 - I leave work. As I walk to my car, I can see the storm front approaching and hear the the thunder. It's still dry here, but there are little drops of rain. I get in my car and start driving.
I get onto Washington Ave and it starts to rain. Not bad yet. I turn onto 4th Street headed south and the rain starts to pick up, wind too. By the time I'm crossing 5th Ave, it's coming down in sheets. Kevin calls to tell me he's about to leave Morris as I drive down 7th and onto 1st ave. By the time I start to turn onto 12th and onto Hennepin, I have to hang up. The rain has become interesting.
As I drive down Hennepin, huge gusts of wind push sheets of rain through the gaps of the buildings. Already the sides of the streets are starting to flood. By the time I make it to the 94 overpass, we have hail. It is now difficult to see the road. I'm passing the Walker Art Gallery, which looks even more like a strange robot, it's windows eerie glowing eyes. A fire truck races past and disappears into the storm. By the time I get to the split of Hennepin/Lyndale (which my friends and I have dubbed "Lynnepin Interchange") the hail has turned into marbles. Actually - these aren't marbles. Big chunks of ice are falling on my car.
Massive flooding has now started at the intersection of Lyndale and Franklin. Just past the light, one of those green plastic news stands has beached itself in the center turn lane. One block down at 23rd and Lyndale, the whole intersection is underwater. The plastic news stands are bobbing merrily in and around cars. There's half a tree down, blocking the right lane.
By 26th street, the hail has stopped and the wind has died down. By Lake it's just straight rain. For the rest of the drive home, it's a regular summer storm with a few rolls of thunder for good measure.
I got home at 6:00. It's 6:30 now and there's no wind, no rain, and danger.
This is why I love Minnesota summers.