We spent much of last night consulting the Missouri Department of Transportation website, trying to figure out if it would be safe to leave. The bottom 2/3 of the Missouri map was full of red dots - the MODOT's symbol for "roads closed due to flooding." It looked like there was no way out. The 10pm news said that the rivers would not crest where we were for 24 - 36 hours. We went to bed wondering if we would wake up bobbing in the waves.
The morning TV news was consumed with overhead shots of rescue squads fishing stranded people out from the flood. The police cruised up and down the streams of what used to be roads in boats, looking for folks to save. We thought back to our route to the campground. We went through an underpass from I-44. We knew the next exit east of us was closed. Could we leave? Should we leave? If we stayed would the cresting rivers flood where we were? The campground folks were encouraging. I-44 was still closed in the Rolla area ninety miles west, but a lengthy detour would allow us to keep moving. The rivers mostly flow east. The farther west we could drive, the safer we would feel.
So we went for it. We passed the exit for the campground where we planned to stay last night. The water near the exit overtopped some of the buildings. We couldn't believe our eyes when we passed an electronic sign indicating that I-44 was open all the way west to Oklahoma. Yay rah! When we got to the spot that had closed the highway, it was a bit low and dirty looking. It was hard to believe that little spot would have had us driving an extra two hours on the detour.
So we've made it to Tulsa where they are also talking about flooding, but not nearby. They have had ninety inches of rain this year. No wonder they are having problems. There are still remnants of the heavy snow that was here a few days ago. It's not warm enough to melt it all, but a few degrees warmer than at home. We'll just have to keep going until we find the sunshine and warmth. We should sleep better tonight.