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You need to be prepared to move when the water is rising.

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This is what we were looking at outside the rear window Thursday morning after the all night rain.  At this point the Meramec River just across the road is at approx. 4.5’ well under the 11’ flood stage.  The severe thunderstorms that had been predicted never developed in our area, but the relentless rain did.

As I was drinking my first few cups of coffee and listened to the chatter on the park radio, I began to suspect that preparations were being made to contend with something previously unexpected.  My thoughts quickly went to the river conditions and the chance of flooding.  I soon was on line checking the river stages via the NOAA website.  At that point the forecast was for a crest at approx. 16.5’ within 24 hours and a rapid fall soon after.  The consensus was this forecast was overstated and sure enough, about an hour later it was revised to around 14’.  The day continued as normal and for the next few hours we were getting ready for the large influx of campers headed this way.  There were a great number of reservations that had been made.

River stage graphs as the event unfolds

View original album HERE then click any picture for slide show

By noon I was really beginning to have doubts about staying in the site we were in.  There was a site on much higher ground that would get us out of harms way for sure.  I was not yet quite ready to move though.  The park staff was beginning to pull back from the plan to go ahead with the normal operation in favor of dealing with flooding conditions that were sure now to be heading our way.  The river was still well within it’s banks but rising noticeably as the hours passed.  The river forecasting from NOAA was erratic and reminded me of how unpredictable this game is.  By 2:00 the actual rise in water level was ahead of the forecast by about 4 hours!!  I then became real uneasy about the prospects of staying put.  The request for help in preparing to move the checking station was made and I went to do my part, it was now about 4:00.  The river had come up much more, and it continued to outpace the forecast.  I texted Rhonda to get ready to roll.

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I chose a point on the river to keep an eye on as the waters rose.  Correlating the forecast with what I could ‘measure’ I knew we were in for a more significant rise than the latest prediction and if we did not move today, the opportunity would be lost, so we packed, and we moved.

A very efficient move.

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About an hour later we were on higher ground.  The few remaining items at our previous site were quickly loaded into the truck and we headed to site 188.

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Now we are on safer higher ground with access to a way out if it gets really bad.  The relocation was executed with perfection and with a degree of efficiency we had not before achieved.  The credit must go to Rhonda who has really embraced our lifestyle as full timers and has applied herself to continuous improvement in all aspects of the adventure.  I could not do any of this without her.  Thank you baby.

We ended the day Thursday with a bit of socializing.  Our buddies and fellow camp hosts Phil & Susan joined us for snacks and a nightcap.  Before long we  called it a day and went to bed knowing the river forecast was now at 19.5’, 3’ above the 16.5’ that had been forecast at the start of the day.  We were safe and on higher ground.

The next day

Friday morning I checked the NOAA site for the update.  At 8:25 AM the graph showed a forecast of 16.1’ but the actual level was at 17.02’, sheesh.  By 12:00 the crest was shown at 21.0’ and the actual level was 19.35’.  As I write this the actual level is @ 19.82’ and looks like it is now on the descent.  Our site is well above the current water level and we are safe.  We do have a way out if a second crest at a higher level would occur.  The sun is bright in the partly cloudy sky and life is great.

Here are some shots of a couple of spots here in the campground.

View the original album HERE then click any picture for slide show

View the original album HERE then click any picture for slide show.

Now at 4:00PM Friday the graph clearly shows the waters are now receding.

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So for now all is well.  We hope for a few dry days and only a small amount of rain when it will inevitably come again.  But regardless, this is another page in the continuing adventure of our lives as Full Time RV’ers and we would not trade it or go back to the Sticks and bricks for anything.  Each day is an adventure and we know we are capable and prepared to deal with what ever comes our way.

High and dry in a trailer down by the river.