A Little Climate Change Across My Street

Flooding across from my place

As long as one has food, water, and is safe and dry, being stranded from everyday comings and goings is not a bad thing.  I said that from the comfort of my little cabin and know many people were not so fortunate.

Flooding . . . it happened so fast.  My friend texted me at 7:15 a.m. to tell me there were flood warnings in my area.    She is in IL where I used to live.  I peered out my window and looked over at the river across the pasture and could barely see it.  Not 45 minutes later, my neighbor stopped by about 8:00 a.m. and warned me of flooding . . . the type you take seriously.  He is also the head of the emergency medical team for our town.  Two dams had breached, and the towns north of us were already experiencing flooding.  We had three days of heavy rains, and this pushed us over the edge to flood stage.

While my cabin is perched a fair elevation from the pasture below, I am still in the valley.  I was well aware that our road flooded enough to keep us from going anywhere for several days.  All of a sudden, I went into survival mode.  I needed propane to cook with, as it just ran out, and ice if I was going to be stranded.

How much time did I have?

The water started encroaching on the pasture in front of me rather rapidly.  By the time it took to go into town, 15 minutes away, for propane and ice, the river went up 6-8 inches by the bridge about a mile away.  I needed to do a little laundry, as well.  Laundry?  Really?  Oh, well . . .

How did I need everything on the day it flooded?  At least I had food.

Our police chief was at the bridge measuring the river.  The barrel with “road closed” was already on the side of the road ready to be placed.  This was all happening fast.  At 7:00 a.m. I couldn’t see any water.  By 11:00, it reached the bales of hay in the field.  I didn’t want to be stuck on the outside of my little cabin.  I wanted to weather this out where I had food and shelter, and, yes . . . my cat.

So I experienced what is was like to be stranded.  We made it to Day 3 with the road closed on both ends before we were free to come and go.  There were four households in my area, all safe, monitoring how fast the water came in and watching it closely as it receded.  We did have access to the outside if we needed supplies.  The owner of the grass fed beef across from me had an ATV that he used through a homeowner’s property to the ridge in back of us to make sure the cattle were fed.  There was no traffic on my little road or the highway across the valley from me.  It was quieter, and, I was meeting my neighbors.  Things like this bring people together.

I wondered how long I could have lasted if it ended up being more than 3 days.

As far as getting stuff done . . . well . . .  that didn’t happen.  A friend hoped I had a good book.  Most of my time was spent on my phone chatting and texting with my friends from back home letting them know how I was doing.   I’ll take that over getting stuff done any day.

Nature dished this out . . . climate change.  This is becoming an annual occurrence.  The first really bad floods came in 2007 and 2008.  Then there was flooding in 2016, and now 2018.  Although it happened about a month ago, it needed to be documented.  The pasture above never has all that water in it.  All the towns north and south of me were flooded.  Several friends lost their homes.  Before I moved here, I lived in IL and experienced some fluctuations in weather . . . some rather notable . . . but not flooding . . . not being stranded.

When do we take climate change seriously enough to do something about it?

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