FLASH FLOOD. Now I really know what the ‘Flash’ means. I’ve seen flooding before, but never anything so severe that happened so quick.
A few random thoughts — some serious, some fanciful (I’ll bet you can tell the difference) — about the Flash Flood of the Summer of 2019:
•How can we ever thank the Nashville police, sheriff’s department, state police, National Guard, Game & Fish, firemen, Public Works Department, Nashville Parks Department and …. (I’m sorry for leaving anyone out) for putting themselves in danger to serve fellow citizens?
•Can you imagine the chaos in the “back” of the Nashville Cemetery where Dodson Creek and Mine Creek merged? Vehicles belonging to six Nashville firemen were swept away while they were out on red trucks warning and saving other people.
•Excellent coverage by Southwest Arkansas Radio and the Texarkana Gazette. Lord help us if the day ever comes when the only local information we have is on Facebook. The Texarkana newspaper even ran a promotion inviting people to bring water to be taken to Dierks where they’ve lost municipal water. Your hometown News-Leader folks somehow managed to cover the developing flooding news and construct that day’s newspaper issue simultaneously. Pics and coverage of the flooding was on all major TV networks and on the Weather Channel. Who needs fame?
•A river — not a trickle — of brown water washed around the east end of the earthen dam at Lake Louis Graves, the city’s upstream reservoir. It left a pond at the base. There is an un-named and undammed creek in the watershed and it joins Mine Creek below that lake. No Name Creek must have been really raging.
•After floodwaters receded I went up to look at the spillway at Lake Nichols, the city’s lower reservoir. The spillway was built after a previous flood breached the top of the earthen dam. At the far east end of the dam the original spillway with floodgates no longer works. The new spillway is merely a slanting slab of concrete with chunks of rock at its base to break up the flow. It enables the lake level to stay lower than the top of the dam. On the slab was a catfish weighing about four pounds. It flopped for awhile until it wriggled to a spot among the rock where water was deeper. It finally managed to swim away toward the main body of Mine Creek. That makes me wonder what little waterholes along the creek now have nice fish. And it also makes me wonder how many water moccasins got displaced. A neighbor helpfully reminds me that Lake Chiffon has been flushed by floodwaters. No reports yet on the creature that was rumored to live in Lake Chiffon, but folks downstream in the Buck Range area would do well to be on the alert.
•After I watched the catfish flop its way to freedom I turned around to drive away and realized that a small army of Nashville Public Works vehicles had driven up to make sure I was up to no devilment. I hope they weren’t armed.
•A little water got into the corner of a room in my house because it just couldn’t drain away as fast as the rain was falling. Thank goodness for Huck!
•I cannot guarantee the numbers but a knowledgeable friend tells me that 90 to 100 heavy stone monuments and grave markers in the Nashville Cemetery were toppled or moved. Some of them weigh hundreds of pounds. How do you put them back in place?
•My heart goes out to the local businesses which were hard hit and I appreciate what they are doing and have done to get back to serving the public again. Home Improvement Center, Dollar General, First State Bank. My memory is that the Dollar General store in Nashville was only about a week old when it got flooded for the first time. They need a new location. Let me suggest the building that Fred’s is leaving (Fred’s pharmacy is staying).
•Dodson Creek winds its way into town from the west unimpeded by a dam. That normally sweet little creek was totally berserk during the flash flood. Its raging water washed away or damaged the asphalt parking lots at Nashville Primary School and at Wilson Park. The school’s footbridge joining junior high to high school is open, but debris is stuck high on its wire sides.
•I don’t know if the Missouri Pacific Railroad crews were even through with their project of reworking local tracks when the RR roadbed got washed away in several places.
•A salute to Nashville Public Works. There was no interruption of drinking water or waste water treatment under these extremes.
•MORE CRAZY WEATHER? I believe in global warming. It’s probably natural, but is likely exacerbated by humans. I believe we’ll see more weather extremes, so get ready,
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THINGS I LEARNED from opening (and believing) email: “I went to a bookstore and asked the salesperson, “Where’s the self-help section?” She said if she told me it would defeat the purpose.
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WORD GAMES. Another set of twins: Time and Date. Somebody always wants to know where you were and what you were doing when some historic event happened.
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HE SAID: “The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.” Leo Buscaglia, author and educator
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SHE SAID: “Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come.” Ellen DeGeneres, entertainer
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SWEET DREAMS, Baby