Not a post about writing, this morning. A post about fear.
The rain has been coming down since about six o’clock last night; at times, it fell as hard as I have ever seen it. Mountain Home (14 miles away) took the hardest hit from the severe weather. Here on the river the concerns are different: flooding.
Six inches in Mountain Home so far. More coming. The river has broken its lower bank and has started up the hill. The water is ugly-brown and fast, the flexing of an angry muscle. Calico Rock, 14 miles downstream, will probably crest at five feet or more above flood stage. And my neighbors upstream…if I were where they are, I’d be shaking in my rainboots right now.
Slept badly last night. Noisy rain, noisy head. My concern is not particularly that of seeing my house flooded—my high hill will probably keep me safe from the rising water. Instead, it is the fleeing that concerns me. And the worries for my neighbors.
If the rain doesn’t get me, the Army Corps of Engineers might. The flood of 2008 was bad enough, but it was worsened infinitely by the spillgates being opened on Bull Shoals and Norfork dams. Folks who had made it through the flood didn’t make it through that; some who’d just dug out by the first flood got flooded again.
Upriver and down from here (two houses and three, respectively) are low water crossings that will cut off my exit before the river reaches me. The only road in and out of here has been known to collapse, in five places in the flood of 2008. Folks had to be helicoptered out of the pasture. I had a dream, once, about the road collapsing under me as I drove it with the cats.
And more rain is forecast.
My morning has made up of packing overnight bags as a talisman against needing to flee. I’ve been shutting doors to keep the kitties easy to corral and getting the car ready to go. I’m listening to wretched oldies on a Mountain Home radio station known for its timely news reports (music that wasn’t particularly good in the 60s and hasn’t improved with age); forced to listen to two self-satisfied announcers talk about visiting the east…“I don’t know how people live there.”
Nobody is talking about evacuation. Not yet. Not sure whether anybody will until its time to go…if the past is any indication, doors usually get knocked on in the evening.
Wish me luck. Wish it for all of us.