In case you haven’t figured out from my scant posts, things have been incredibly busy and stressful around here lately. I want to take a little time out tonight, though, to mention those campers who lost their lives last night on the Little Missouri River and those who lost their businesses on the Caddo River. Having been in an urban flash flood once in my life, I can barely begin to imagine what it would be like to be in a flash flood in a campground. (A timeline of the flooding is here, but it does not adequately convey how swiftly the water rose and with what force. For that, see the Little Mo gauge and the Caddo gauge.)
We’ve camped at the Albert Pike Campground on the Little Missouri. We’ve shopped at the businesses that were affected. The flash flood took place well over a hundred miles from here, yet it is a place we know well. We also know some of the private boaters (rafters, kayakers, open boaters) with swift-water rescue training who are part of the rescue and recovery mission. I also know of a few people who made the decision that they do not have the stomach for a recovery mission, especially for children.
The flash floods in southwest Arkansas help put our woes on the homestead in perspective. Here no one has died on our little croft, and within a few months we will have forgotten these trying times. Too many times this year I’ve had to say it, but my heart goes out to those who have been impacted by storms.
Addendum: I just read that one cabin, securely anchored and raised on stilts above the flood plain, survived not only the raging water but also impact by an RV, a pickup, and another (unsecured) cabin that had gotten picked up by the river. If you have not already read my post on the May 2010 Tennessee flooding and how people can live next to rivers with a greater measure of safety, see here.