With tornado season in full force, violent storms have occurred Monday and Tuesday, causing devastating floods throughout the Midwest.
Tornadoes ripped through Arkansas Monday, causing heavy flooding which killed 10 people. In the heavily populated Poplar Bluff, Mo., the levees protecting the town are strained and residents are dealing with the situation essentially minute by minute. A flood just south of the town where another levee broke could help relieve the pressure of the water, but residents are still not safe.
Living in Connecticut, you wouldn’t immediately think that we suffer from severe flooding almost yearly. Each April, the heavy rains come and cause havoc upon my little town. The town was constructed poorly along the Housatonic River, leaving half of the town basically separated from the other half after a big storm.
That was the story this past March. With the incredible snowfall amounts my area saw from Dec. 26 to the end of January, our whole state was white. When the heavy rains came, it all had to go somewhere.
When the river exceeds the bank near the center of our town, the main road was shut down for days. Your normal five minute trip will now exceed 30. Unless you’re a flood professional and know the right routes, you’ll be left cursing in your car.
Our latest storm stranded about 20 families from civilization after 30 feet of road was washed out by the heavy rains. The families were stranded for days without any ability to get to work, school or even the grocery store.
In April 2008, heavy rains shut down the town for a longer period than the latest storm. I live on a dirt road off the Housatonic River near the rail road tracks. When the water exceeded the banks and went over onto the dirt road, my family was stranded. When the rain stopped, it took several days for the water to stop rising. Even when it did, we were still stuck for about four days.
Luckily, we had enough food and water to hold us over, and luckily, our house is on a hill, protecting us from the elements. It wasn’t the same for some of our neighbors, who lost everything in their homes as the flood waters easily tore through everything they worked for.
The flooding in Missouri has been far more serious than I’ve seen first-hand. The floods in my area haven’t caused as much damage and, to my knowledge, haven’t resulted in any deaths. The tornadoes obviously play a large part in that, but it is a scary situation to know that there is nothing you can do when the rains come and the river rises.
You’re stuck in Mother Nature’s wrath and whatever she wants to take, she will. With the latest Weather Channel report calling for Wednesday’s weather to be more serious in the Midwest than they have seen throughout the week so far, the residents in the affected areas need to be careful.