Well it is the week after Memorial Day, all is well. We have moved back to site 13 as mentioned in my last post. The river is way down and all is looking good except for the weather forecast. The thought of a move is clearly in mind but for the time being, in the back of my mind. It’s Friday and we have a few errands to take care of, Toby’s check up and shots is top of the list.
Toby is bored till the vet starts to poke and prod
So with a high degree of indifference to being at the animal hospital Toby waits his turn. Before long the Dr. is poking and prodding and Biggs is in heaven with all this special attention from a stranger. Except for getting older, everything is fine. With the normal shots and some flea and tick stuff we are headed on our way. Another stop was at Wal-Mart and in the pet department we saw great toy for Toby, a dopy duck! It was a big hit and he now sleeps with the tennis ball and dopy duck.
Starting to look like a great weekend ahead.
Back at the campground, things are taking shape for a great weekend. There are quite a number of campers headed in and the forecast still is saying we are in for a lot of harsh weather. The river levels are good and the clear water is very inviting. The partly cloudy skies and calm winds are very contradictory to the weather reports.
Then about 7:30 PM it starts…
The rain came and I had a very poor internet connection. Took the computer for a ride and checked the river stage forecast and local weather. Around 10:00AM the NOAA river stages were showing a slow rise in water levels here, that remained through the day and evening. I knew we were going to move but planned to wait till around noon Sunday. The campers here would be able to stay and if the rain stopped by morning and again the day turned out to be partly cloudy it would be a terrific weekend. But in a few hours all hell was going to break loose!
What they said would happen and what REALLY happened.
We went to bed with a constant pattering of rain on the roof. I had allowed myself to be fooled into believing my head chatter logic along with the river forecast, not following my GUT almost got me. We were sleeping well until the radio started making noise around 1:30 AM. The river was rising at a rate of 2ft per hour and we were evacuating the park. The number of campers here is large and this was a definite OH SHIT moment. The park Superintendent told me my priority was to get my rig to higher ground, and that is what we did.
Parked here about 3:00AM and woke here about 9:30AM
We quickly made ready and moved to higher ground. Parked in the road at the top of the curve allowing space in front and back for passage out of the loop, we were safe and not in the way of anyone. The rig is safe and we are out of danger. As soon as the rig was parked we headed down to the main campground to help. There are Camp Hosts, Rangers, State Police, Local Police and park staff knocking on doors telling folks to evacuate. We worked on a variety of projects to secure things till about 3:30AM and then called it a night. We were not level but we made do and got out of the wet clothes and soon fell asleep.
The river is up but for now not as bad as it could be.
When we woke we were quite surprised to see the river level was about as high as it could be and still be within it’s banks. Shocking considering the pace of the rising water just hours earlier.
The morning starts, Phil and Susan are leaving.
Our friends Phil and Susan were planning to leave today headed north for part of the summer and to visit family in Wisconsin. Odd that the timing worked out like this but we took their spot on the high ground. Very convenient and totally by chance!
The ground is so wet a tree fell across the road. The roots just could not hold it back up on the hill.
The day proceeds with the park closed. A tree falls across the road and I help maintenance trim it off the roadway. Of all the campers that left in the wee hours there were only two sites that needed a LOT of attention. One of those had three very nice tents and lawn chairs left behind. We had to gather those as the rains fell because we felt the water would carry them off if not. Today we spread the tents out and hope to call the owners to come retrieve them.
There are folks not too far away that are dealing with storm damage. Sounds like a few tornados touched down north of here. We are very lucky and are very aware of that. The damage must be significant or it is a slow day in Jefferson City, Governor Nixon stopped at the park en route to storm damaged areas around St. Louis.
We are very lucky again. The storms have passed and I don’t think we will move back to #13. Rain is in the forecast next Wednesday, 4 days from now. If that holds hard to tell what the river will do. For now we are high and dry. Tomorrow the campground re opens and we are on duty. As I write this the actual river stage is higher than the forecast and still rising. The second crest is on the way but NOAA has not placed their bet, yet.
What will it do? Stay tuned, we’ll find out.
Always remember, Turn When The Road Does!
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