Saturday, September 9, 2017

another rescue of sorts

There was no sleeping at the shelter which was all wood floors with a stage and long tables and chairs but that aside, they kept the lights on because they were still bringing people in and the young children were so hyped up they were all running around screeching and babies were crying. I got up on the stage with the dog and laid down in a back corner using my extra shorts and shirt as a 'pillow' trying to get some rest at least while Marc stayed on the main floor talking with friends Judy and Leonard, the neighbors who were rescued with us. I could only lay on my back as my bony hips did not like that wood floor. I kept telling myself 'you can do this, you do this all the time at yoga, it's just a very long shavasana'. The kids finally all dropped from exhaustion sometime around 3 AM when they finally had stopped bringing people in and turned off the lights.

Around 5 AM Thursday morning I texted my friend Caroline who lives on the Square in the upstairs apartment of the buildings she and husband Wesley own because I knew she would probably be up by then to see how they were fairing, if the river had crested, if they had water in the street since the Square is only two blocks from the Colorado River but it is also the highest ground in town. I was concerned about my sister who had called us in a panic for the number to call for a water rescue just as we were being rescued...her power had gone out, she was surrounded by water and it was about a foot from coming in her house. The last time I talked to her was once we were on the pavement waiting to be ferried to the shelter, she had got the number and called for rescue. The next time I tried to call her, her phone went straight to voicemail and I had no idea where she was or if she was OK.

Caroline was still on dry ground and volunteered Wesley, when he got up, to go to her house and check on her in his F 600 Ford work truck which you practically need a step ladder to get in to. That proved to be unnecessary as my sister called shortly. She had tired of waiting to be rescued (and in fact rescues had been suspended til daylight), turned off her phone to preserve the battery, and gone to bed as the water had quit rising. About 9 AM, Wesley showed up at the shelter to take us to Pam's as while her front yard and street was covered with deep water, 

standing on my sister's small front porch looking across the street

looking left

looking right, she got about 18” in her garage

her backyard slopes up to high ground and we only had to wade through about knee deep water to her back door. Eventually the power came back on and we were quite happy to be there when two guardsmenboys came to the door asking if we wanted to be evacuated as they were opening a dam and they expected the river to rise overnight. We declined at first (I'm already losing some of the details) but I talked to Caroline again and she volunteered Wesley to come get us and we could stay downstairs in one of the party rooms (their buildings on the square are event venues) that had leather banquettes and power and I was all for it. I had to do a little arm twisting on Pam because she didn't want to leave her house, told us to go ahead on to which I replied that we were not going to be separated, it was only for one night, and “I was not going through another night like last night” being rescued with the water lapping at the door so we gathered up pillows, sheets, clothes, and animals and Wesley came and got us. As it turned out, they did not open a dam and the water actually receded about 6” overnight. The next morning, Friday, Wesley ferried us back to my sister's house.

next: water walk and first look


  1. Hey Ellen. I'm reading but don't have much to say right now except that you give me strength. You survived. So will we.

  2. Hope it goes down fast. Our team arrived and said they also were unable to get close at first, but have got in and found a dry spot of sorts.This tiny town of 5000 has sent two semis of water and a crew of men with carpentry backgrounds or just big hearts.I am stranded with heart docs pestering me this next week when I run that treadmill.I remember the Salvation Army coming in whenI was flooded and passing out sandwiches and buckets of cleaning supplies that felt amazing.I had the power washer going for days helping neighbors, who called me the flood stud since they were too old to do much.I had huge fish and corn stalks all over my yard, lost most statuary. I laughed when the only plants that survived was a huge crop of basils I had tried. Lost the rest of my gardens and moved into the city for a few years.

  3. Hope it settles down for you and you can get back in your house. Meanwhile we're waiting for Irma.

  4. The way people have pitched in to help is amazing. Good to hear you are with your sister ~

  5. I'm usually exhausted after reading your posts because of all the hard work you do, but now I'm exhausted because this just seems really traumatic to me. I hope that you're able to reach a point where you can just sit and breathe for a while...

  6. We're following you around. Don't leave us.

  7. May you and your bony hips soon have some much earned rest. I can only imagine how distressing this is for you and yours. Sending hugs your way. <3

  8. It could have been worse but it's still bad. I fear that these nasty weather patterns are going to become the norm.

  9. I am so glad you are writing this all down for others to read and heed. One never knows when disaster will come their way. It is good that you are with your family.


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