When I was a little girl I lived in a tiny town on a big hill surrounded by cornfields. In the cornfields around the big hill with the tiny town are lots of little creeks which sometimes overflow their banks and make little floods.
|Flood Image Credit: Anissa Belkheir, via freeimages.co|
This is a story about when my little town got a lot of rain and the creeks overflowed their banks and completely covered the cornfields and turned the little town on the big hill into an island.
At first it was fun. Dad woke me up early to go out and look at the flooding because it was the first time that the creeks had flooded that badly. The water was lapping up on the street heading out of town like waves on a shore. Wind blew and the sound of water made it sound like I was standing next to a lake instead of a network of flooded creeks.
The road (normally) went down the big hill and intersected with a major highway (which was now completely under water). Dad and I stood looking out at the flood and Dad said, “This is funny”.
I was wondering if there were more fish swimming in the water than normal.
A few hours later it seemed like the entire town was standing out on the “shore” on the little bridge that usually went over one of the little creeks, but now looked more like a dock. People cracked jokes about how the farmers should have planted rice or celery instead of corn.
My mother was out there with Dad now and she was joking that we would have to buy boats to get out of town if the flood waters didn’t go away. Someone asked if anyone had called the local TV station.
Then all at once the mood changes a big red truck was driving down the road in the distance. He kept getting close to the flood waters and he wasn’t slowing down.
Everyone got quiet and watched. The truck’s driver must have thought the flood waters would be shallow enough to drive through. He was wrong. We watched helplessly as the truck entered the water over the highway and started to float away. Someone got a row boat out of a nearby garage and tried to push it toward the truck – but the rough flood waters were too vast and the boat simply drifted aimlessly with the current.
The truck started to capsize and my mom told me to look away. But the driver had climbed out of the truck and was clinging to it. We all breathed a sigh of relief when a natural resource boat came and rescued the man.
A few minutes later it happened again. This time a minivan floated into the water and a man, a woman, and three children, crawled out and clung to the vehicle.
Many people in the crowd began to panic. The Natural Resource Rescue Boat came back and picked up the little family, but instead of taking them away like they had the truck driver, they brought them to the town.
The family had been on vacation and were far from home and had no where to go and no where to stay. One family in the town had a guest room where they could stay and another family donated pillows and blankets. Another family donated food. Everyone in the little town pitched in and made the hapless family feel more comfortable. They stayed one night and by the next day the flood waters had subsided and they could leave.
But on the day of the flood the state closed the highway so no one else could get trapped by the flood waters again.
Now, decades later, the cornfields around the big hill are green and the creeks mostly stay in their banks, but I’ll never forget when the big hill became an island.