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Finding My Way Around Flood Waters

We’ve had a ton of flooding in my area lately. I live at the top of a hill, so river water won’t get me. Ground water is a different matter. My crawl space has been a lake more than it’s been dry this year. I’m not complaining, though. I have it pretty good. When the water starts to rise, we turn on our pump. Problem solved.

I grew up in this area and thought I knew how to avoid flood water covered roads. A trip to visit my sister proved me wrong. She lives on a farm about half an hour from me. I’ve been there many times, but getting there last Sunday was an adventure.

I saw that both Center Creek and Spring River were high, but I believed I could take my normal route to my sister’s house. I turned down the county road feeling confident. Everything was fine for the first couple of miles. Then I had to stop in the middle of the road. There, a few feet in front of me, was water raging across the road with angry currents. I shoved the car in reverse and turned around.

I’d forgotten about all the little creeks and low places in this area that flood after a heavy rain. I’d grown accustomed to blockades and warning signs any time a road was closed in the city areas I regularly traverse. Out in the country there were no blockades with helpful signs warning of flooding.

I turned down the first road I reached, which as Nutmeg. The wind was still pretty strong from the early morning storm and blew small tree limbs down in front of me. A wild turkey took flight as I approached its resting place in the middle of the rarely travelled road. It landed in front of me again and ran back and forth across the road giving me all kinds of heck for making it move. I also disturbed a huge crane, but it flew away without yelling at me.

I got back on the highway and tried to remember the way around the flood water. I remembered my sister had said something about Oak Road. I hoped it was that Oak didn’t flood, so I turned and crept along. I was within sight of the county road on which my sister lives when I had to stop again. An angry creek gobbled up the intersection and a good part of each road.

I sat there for a moment searching my memory for knowledge of the roads. I employed my superior driving skills to keep my car on the narrow dirt road as I reversed, spun the wheel, and repeated several times before I was facing the way from which I’d come. I backtracked to where Oak intersected another county road and turned right.

Once again, I stopped in front of water on the road. This water was drainage from the fields on either side of the road. While it was a few inches deep and moving, it wasn’t creek or river water. There wasn’t a anything that I could wash me away. The worst case was I might end up at the edge of a field. I took a deep breath and powered through it. I encountered two more spots where the road was covered by field drainage and powered through those, too.

When I reached M Highway and turned toward my destination, I saw a dreaded sign that read, “Impassable During High Water.” The creek was high, but wasn’t over the road yet. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was going to be able to get home again once my visit was over.

I eased onto the county road and made my way to her sister’s house. I bounced down her muddy driveway and parked beside the ancient farmhouse. Yes, I could have called and asked for directions, but this became a quest for me. I was determined to find my own way.

My car looked like I’d been mudding by the time I reached my destination, but I felt triumphant at finding my own way. This was one of those times in life where I needed to figure it out for myself.

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