Sunday, March 30, 2008

Natural horror

Just over a week ago, I heard the horrible news of the flooding of the Meramec River in Missouri and the White River in Arkansas, The news brought back a lot of painful memories. In '93, I lived in St. Louis, and the Mississippi flooded much of the metro area. Friends and neighbors lost property, businesses shut down, and transportation was difficult. The Meramec flooded nearby communities west of St. Louis at that time. Here's a typical photo of much of the metro area:

The recent flooding news in Arkansas had a personal connection. My father grew up on a bluff overlooking the White River, in a town called Calico Rock. Many relatives and friends of the family grew up in the area. Many are still there. So the news saddens and horrifies me.

I grew up in a town about 30 miles away, called Mountain Home. They recently got a foot of rain in 24 hours, and more rain the next day; my brother's house suffered damage.

In my e-mail I got some photos and video showing how powerful and destructive a force water can be. Here's two, showing a small shack or large appliance floating downstream, (hard to tell, the perspective is from a low bluff), a reminder that someone was experiencing loss and misery:

This business was ruined:

Here is the video of the house that was carried away and demolished by a collision into a bridge:

I like this blog to be fun, and this is definitely waaay into no-fun territory. But sometimes, pain and trouble just pushes into life, and you might as well acknowledge what parts are fascinating, if sad. And the mystery of water, and how powerful it can be, fascinates me.

Seeing those photos and video brought back every anxious and scary memory that's associated with water that I have from childhood: my father telling of going "canoodling", when he was a boy, along the river bank (that's reaching into an underwater hole to grab a fish)-- and how a friend of his lost a finger to a snapping turtle that way. Seeing images of a corpse in water in the films "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte" and "The Tingler" (the former in a late-night viewing at age 4 with my mother, and the latter in "Famous Monsters" magazine.)

And seeing in "My Weekly Reader" this famous image and wondering what might lurk in our local lake, Lake Norfork:

To tell the truth, despite being a nervous and anxious little kid, I didn't let my imagination keep me from swimming in the lake! Just not by myself.

As a kid, I thought we were protected from floods, because I heard adults mention that we lived in a "dry county"!

That reminds me-- I think I need a drink.

1 comment:

Mr. Karswell said...

I live in MO just minutes from where the flooding was at it's recent worst. My wife's parent's basement actually flooded a bit but it wasn't anything too bad. We were affected for a few days though in that we had to detour miles and miles around sections of highway that were temorarily underwater, traffic jams etc... It's good to see that some areas that were part of the big flood many years ago have been fixed to avoid future problems, but also it's disappointing to see other areas that continually flood year after year and never get fixed.


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