It’s proof of the lasting fear that the spring floods have struck into the hearts of Norfork folks: that even the words “possible flooding” would make us White River denizens want to head for the hills.

      The storm’s opening act was sung to the tune of tornado sirens and warnings on the local radio station. The storm itself was a window-rattler, raging against windows, shaking trees within inches of their leafy lives. I gathered the kitties, their food, water and crates behind the closed door of my bedroom, ready for the middle-of-the-night wakening call from Emergency Alert services that would tell us to evacuate. It was a call that never came; a precariously-placed tree that never crashed through the roof; a rising river that never came to sweep us away to a watery Oz.

      The next day was beautiful: clear, cool, breezy with a sky full of dream-clouds and a swarm of hummingbirds that seemed to want to land on my head. The river showed little more than a brown stain in the North Fork channel, then another on the near bank. It wasn’t until Sunday morning that the river churned high and brown but still within its banks, much nastier at Mountain View than in Norfork. The thing is, we’re safe. We dodged the bullet. A lot of folks didn’t. But I wonder how long it will be until I lose the fear of a collapsed road and a river risen beyond all stopping.

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