Monday, April 25, 2011

How High's the Water Mama?

Fifty-three feet high and risin’. The animals are lining up two by two at the riverfront, looking for their boarding passes, and some guy named Noah stopped by a little while ago, inquiring about the price of wood. Our little town is about to get wet, and unfortunately, for some, it could be devastating.

I live in a river town. The Ohio and Tennessee Rivers provide this region with many jobs, both in transportation and tourism. But the rivers, especially the Ohio, are mighty forces that command respect, and every now and then they like to flex their muscles and remind us who is boss. For days now, we have endured on and off again rain. Not piddly rain, but gully washers. Over and over again, and it’s finally catching up with us. In a rather rapid way. We looked up over the weekend, and bam! The water was noticeably higher. Then the National Weather Service held a news conference and started throwing around words like “record flood levels” and “catastrophic flooding”. They said the Ohio could crest at a level second only to the 1937 flood, which gets folks around here in a bit of a lather. Those of us from these parts grew up with grandparents and relatives who told stories about the devastation of the 1937 flood. It inundated this region and caused numerous folks to lose everything they owned. It’s how this city ended up with a floodwall. The Army Corps of Engineers did not want history to repeat itself and ringed this city with a floodwall in the 1940’s. So the near mention of setting a record anywhere near that level got folks to moving fast yesterday. The city moved in heavy equipment, started building a levee around our riverfront convention center and today started closing the floodgates.

What a busy place our riverfront was today. As my daddy would say, it was all arseholes and elbows down there.

Besides the workers, there are plenty of gawkers. People were snapping pictures of what they think could be history but hope it isn’t.

There are a handful of roads around the community that are already closed, and several hundred people in low lying areas in this county and a few surrounding counties have been told to evacuate their homes. While the floodwall will keep us from seeing the devastation of seventy four years ago, there are some people around here who will probably suffer great property loss. The Hula-gen’s live on high ground, so we aren’t worried about our property, but we do know people who live close to the water’s edge, and we hope for their sakes the forecasters are just being overly cautious. As I type this, Hubby is helping a church member sandbag around his home. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. It just goes to show, you never can tell when something big is going to happen. As mama says, it’s good to stay all prayed up.


MarieElizabeth said...

I live in the path of these constant storms as well. I'm glad to see them preparing but hope it isn't necessary.

Jan n Jer said...

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Hope the flooding is not tooooo bad!

J.G. said...

Gosh, if it isn't one thing, it's another. Hope you and your friends stay dry and all the preparations pay off. (Nice that they used the floodwall as a mural series, too!)

The Girl Next Door said...

Saying prayers for all of you and counting my blessings!

Louisiana Belle said...

Saying a little prayer that you all will be spared. So sorry to see this happening.

The Church Lady said...

Yikes! Mother Nature is wreaking havoc in all parts of the US lately. So good to see the town prepare for potential flooding in advance. Prayers that all will turn out ok.