Here in the land of Arkansas

Today I crashed. I laid down and slept 4 hours. I am so tired and of course the heat is not helping anything. I feel guilty for napping when others are working, but I realize that I have to sleep in order to make decisions and get on with what I have to do. It is so hard being displaced. It is even harder wondering just how long it will be this way.

Obviously my dates were wrong when I actually left. I was going thru photos to email to Allen and the date showed them to be May 6th. I spent 1 night with my friend the Mayor, 2 nights with my girlfriend, so that means that I moved in this place on the 10th. I knew I had the 10th stuck in my brain for a reason.

I remember the day well that this all began. I had worked cleaning house, doing laundry and planning on my week. I decided that I needed a break and food and went to the store. I saw the local Police Chief but that was not unusual. A friend of mine came to the deli and said, “You know we are being evacuated because of the river right?”

I did not believe him. I hunted the Chief down and he told me the same thing. I just stood there with my mouth hanging open, stunned. He told me that my house was in the line of the flood water, I needed to be prepared and evacuation was going to be inforced.

So the hunt began for boxes. Now to most of us that found out in our town, we did not know that the Bay had already been told this a week before, but that was to be expected I suppose since the water would hit them first. I had wondered why I had seen so many trucks and trailers come thru town. Those people had already filled the storage sheds and such. There was no place to put my furniture, and what boxes that I did have.  Perhaps it turned out alright in that area because the storage sheds that I would have used took on a lot of water and people lost a lot of what they stored.

I was really at this point thinking that it was better to be safe than sorry. I didn’t actually think that it was going to be that bad. My girlfriend and I talked every day and we agreed that the City was just being cautious. A little better to be overly prepared than not to be prepared at all.

Then came the rain. They said that we got in our area 6 and 1/2 inches of rain in 18 hours. It rained every day after that. Heavy rains, rains that came with severe tornados that missed us but hit Alabama, and Tennessee. It was fierce and in my heart I knew that we were in trouble. The rain just did not want to let up, and it just kept raining. Oddly enough, the day that I was evacuated from my house, the day dawned bright and sunny, not  a cloud in the sky. I remember telling a friend of mine, “How can a flood be coming on such a beautiful day?”

At that time we thought that I had a few more days at the house, but around 4:00 that evening, I had to leave. The water came all the way up to the door in a matter of minutes. Me, my 2 suitcases and my computer went by boat. Not very far, just across the street so I could get to my car, but I am so glad that we had access to that boat. That boat rescued other people as well. It seemed fitting that it should have.

Things progressed extremely fast after that. The roads were shut down the next day, but people kept going down to “Look” and so the Dept of Wildlife blocked the road and stood guard. We had one way into town and one way out of town. That is it. All the roads had to be closed because water had already come up over the roads. The Interstate 40 from Little Rock to Memphis was shut down because of water and no one really knew what was going to happen. We went to scared pretty fast, and then it was OMG this just cannot be happening. But it was happening and every hour on the hour the updates we were getting were worse than the ones we had heard before.

There is no worse feeling than the feeling of helplessness. There was nothing we could do. We could only wait and wait and wait.

The day that I got to go home , I dreaded every second. I was scared of what I would find. I knew what I had been told by those that had gone down when the road was opened back up, but the house was still under water and they had to boat in and out. I did not go back until the day of my FEMA inspection. I did not cry. I couldn’t, I was too busy trying not to throw up. Even tho my friends had opened windows, it was terrible in there.

When I opened the front door the first thing I saw was my dining room wall covered in black mold half way up. The Inspector told me to wait outside or in the front, it was not safe to be in as the floors were so saturated that any weight at all could cause one of us to fall thru the floor. He told me that is just what happend to my back bedroom. The floors were just buckled and water had gotten in everywhere. The bottom half of the wall in my den was just swept away.

Right now it is late and I have to get up early in the morning, but I plan to take more pictures and will post again soon.


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