Dodging the floods
May 3, 2010
|Sitting tight yesterday was a wise move!
We woke to a muddy campsite, but a clear sky. Judging from the news, it’s a good thing we stayed put yesterday and didn’t head up into Tennessee or Kentucky. Nashville was flooded so badly they had to close I-24, and someone shot a video of a house floating across I-24 and past the stranded cars.
The Cumberland River hasn’t even crested yet and already they’re rescuing people off of rooftops. They expect the Cumberland to crest at 50 feet (10 feet over flood stage) but there are so many flooded tributaries that it’s hard to estimate. It could go higher, and at 52 feet a lot of country singers will be getting their fancy Tony Llamas wet.
We called our friend Carl, who was in Chattanooga with a moving truck, on his way to California. Like us, Carl had planned to go through Nashville on his way to I-40. He decided to head for Memphis instead, and we decided to head northeast toward Lexington, Kentucky.
We got under way at 8:30 and by 10:00 we were crossing a very high and wide Tennessee River. The rest of the way out of Alabama, through Tennessee and into Kentucky was an easy drive, but we passed many places where the roads had been closed yesterday due to high water. Water was standing in yards and ditches and fields, and every river and creek was flooded with muddy brown water.
At one place in Kentucky we passed an RV park where several motorhomes and a trailer were standing up to their floors in water.
We headed for a Kentucky State Park named General Burnside Island State Park, and found it on the banks of the Cumberland River far upstream from Nashville. To our surprise, the river at this point actually looked lower than normal, but low spots in the campground were flooded and a few picnic tables were under water in the low spots.
Carl called at 6:00 (actually 7:00 because we’re back in the Eastern Time Zone here). He got to Memphis OK and is looking for a place to spend the night somewhere between Memphis and Little Rock.
The day is still sunny and clear as we head into evening, and all’s well that ends well.