Since I've been following this Katrina business, it reminded me that we're almost at the anniversary of Hurricane Ivan. Ivan devastated the High Country, trapping lots of us and causing lots of damage. I was not yet a blogger at that time, but I assure you that my posts would have been interesting.
On September 16, 2004 it started raining, and it didn’t stop. Because we had to be in town for a work function (I’ll not go into what it was or why I was pissed that we had to risk life & limb to be there), we watched the rising waters with trepidation, ready to evacuate if necessary. Our house sits high on a ridge, but the road to get there runs alongside the river for a good ways, so we kept an eye on it.
The family slept in the hallway that night in case a falling tree plunged through the windows or roof, and it wasn’t a good rest. You could hear, almost feel, the weight of the water as it flowed anxiously and endlessly over the house and down the mountain. About five a.m. we could hear the river churning and decided to get out while we still could, and we loaded up ourselves and the dog into the already-packed SUV. We thought “No problem! We’re prepared for this storm!” We made it to the bottom of the driveway.
The road was gone, turned into a canyon of rushing, churning water, and the rain was still falling hard. We walked back to the house and waited for the power to fail, for the world to end, or for it to stop raining. None of those things happened. But our work function also didn’t get cancelled, despite a state of emergency declaration in our county. We had no choice but to try to get to the main road (1.5 miles away) on foot.
Each of us had 2 backpacks, one had a dog on a leash, and the other had $4,000 worth of camera equipment. One of us had a suit packed in a garbage back packed in a backpack. We had the hope of rescue at the end of the road, assuming we could find our way there hiking through flooded backcountry.
It was completely surreal.
The pictures tell the rest of the story better than I could.
There are pictures missing from what turned out to be an almost three hour hike, because it was simply too dangerous to get the camera out. I never told some of the details, because I didn’t want to remember some of it.