Tuesday, April 7

Threatening and Thrilling

Part 2 ... We drove to town where Ann and I left my father and went to get a coke while he bought the pump. After getting our drinks, we ran down to the bridge leading to the railroad station to see the river. The brown torrent lashed furiously around the pillars of the bridge. It was threatening and horrible, but then, to us, thrilling. When Daddy picked us up, he had recruited one of the boys in my class to help at our home - if help was needed. The grade schools were dispersing by this time, so we collected my little brother and sister, along with half a dozen young neighbors, and endeavored to return home. The river had risen high enough to block the streets at the main intersection of town, and there was only one way left open. This route involved going up by the high school again. Water of this height was not uncommon to Hazard and none of us expected anything far out of the ordinary. As we came into the school vicinity, we also ran directly into a thick traffic jam. Inch by inch we made our way through the maze of honking horns and wet automobiles. Miraculously we immerged on the other side of the water and sped toward home.

It was approximately nine-thirty when we arrived at our house in the residential section across the river from the business district. As we entered the house, Mother met us with the report the river was rising several feet an hour. Fantastic rumors were spreading like wildfire. The debris that hurtled down the river had suddenly graduated from paint buckets, logs and brush to sheds, fences, and occasionally a chicken atop some boards. By the time I had changed into slacks, the cut-offs into our house had failed to work, and water had slowly begun to seep through the basement drain. The pump was put to work. We next focused our attention on the shed that hangs over the riverbank behind our home. If the river got high enough to get in it, we felt sure that it would go. We took the spare doors and the bicycles, the garden tools, and lawn mower into the garage and wedged them in with a board to keep them from floating away - if the river got that high. Another boy in my class had joined our slaving little band. There were neighbors from higher ground helping as the river continued to rise. Now we moved into the house. It seemed ridiculous to be moving books from lower shelves to the top. The water had never gotten in our house before. We were above the 1927 flood level and even the oldest citizens didn't remember a flood beyond that. But with the radio reports getting worse, this didn't seem so absurd. It wasn't long before WKIC, which was on low ground, went out. Then we were without any form of communication other than the telephone.

1 comment:

  1. I am on edge as Kathy relates in detail everything she sees as the water rises. I know the area where she live and I know how scared they must be. This holds my interest much the same as a Best Seller List Novel, except we know the area and the people. Can't wait for Chapter 3.