Thursday, April 9
All Feeling Seemed To Be Drained From Our Bodies
Part 4... It was still raining when we emerged from the river which was now racing down the main street of Woodland Park. Far out in the center of the river bed the current had reached unbelievable momentum. The boys saw me safely to a friend's home, and then returned to help my family. Mother would have to leave now, she had no choice. I obtained some fresh clothes and set out with Ann to help my family once more. As I scrambled through a hedge, I slipped and fell flat in the slimy mud. At any other time I would have been quite put out, but - mud - I hardly noticed it. I picked myself up and we trudged on to the house where Mother and Daddy were. I knew my brother and sister were safe, but my parents had me worried. When I found them I decided to stay and once again changed clothes. Actually, it didn't do much good since in evacuating my parents, the suit case with our only dry clothes has been dropped, thoroughly soaking them. Surely, we thought as we each shot quick glances out of the windows of our new quarters, the river will crest now - before it comes in here! But it did not, the relentless flood waters continued to creep up inch by inch - foot by foot. The basement of this house was nearly full when the owner suddenly realized that she had failed to throw the master switch. All that water just might be full of electricity. My father, the only man in the house, changed back into his wet clothes and stepped manfully into the basement. He later told us that the only way he had found whether the water was charged was by stepping into it. Once the switch was thrown we began moving furniture to the second floor of our refuge. Our neighbor took her four tow-headed little girls out of the house before they could be trapped. And we worked like beavers to get her beautiful antiques up to safer ground. The light green carpeting which covered the floors ripped and bulged as the water pushed its greedy way into the house. In the garage we watched with frozen emotion their new Buick sedan fill and ruin with flood water. By the time we had moved all the food and drinking water to the upstairs bathroom, we were in such a state of shock that all feeling seemed to be drained from our bodies and our emotions were dead. Lying across the foot of a canopy bed in an upstairs bedroom, I watched fixedly as the river rose nearly to the eaves of our lovely little home across the road. My parents' faces were devoid, too, of emotion. What could you feel besides hopelessness when you saw your home and life fill and ruin with destruction?