Water Water But Not Everywhere!

Today has not been a great one here at RiverCliff Cottage.

Mike and I got home last night at 10:00 pm and the North Fork was lapping at the banks like a hungry fox. It was scary, and I was so thankful that we actually made it home. I’d tucked some clothes away in case we had to camp with my sister, Pat, or go to a hotel. We’d heard that water was on the roads, and while it was, it wasn’t yet on our road.

I got up this morning and in my pjs, I drove up the road to check out the river conditions. Just past the swinging bridge, the river was in the road on one side and water had filled a ditch on the other so the road was covered. I was undecided, but “Don’t Drown…Turn Around” played in my head.      I came back in the house, and thought that since I was uncertain if the river was cresting or still rising, I would take a shower and then I’d go back and check it again and if it went down a few inches, I’d head on to work.

So…I reach in the shower and turn on the water. And there is no water.   There is not a drop of water. Oh.No.   If you know me, you know that I’m always prepared for stuff, but it’s hard to prepare for not having water.   (Although in full disclosure,  I did have a case of bottled water and ten jugs of water stashed away.   Let me tell you…just having those jugs of water is so handy.  I emptied each one in the commodes, put some in the teapot, etc and then refilled them at my sister’s house.  Yay!!!)

We called friend and plumber, Darrell Statzer, and he was in Kingsport on a job. He said he’d come by after he got through–if water did not prevent him from doing so.  Darrell is aware of our well, and he’s like me — he thinks we’ll need a new well pump. You become expert at these types of things when you live in the country. It’s why I never make the casual statement that because we live in the country and we have a well, we get our water free. It’s a little more complicated than that!

So Darrell is going to come save the day–maybe if he can get through the water.    Except this started.

Winter Tree

Snow is not so bad, but this was more than snow. We had ice and sleet mixed in, and the roads became as slick as glass. Even going outside on the steps was dangerous.    Darrell barely got home himself so we all agreed the well could wait another day (and maybe it’ll be a little warmer).

With dirty hair, a flooding river, sleet and no water, I nixed any idea of going to work today.   However, about 4:00, Mike saw me getting ready to walk to my sister’s and shower so I could go to work tomorrow. I didn’t think the truck would make it down the hill without sliding in the river which was much closer to our gate  than it was a few days ago.

River Out

Mike, however, said he would put the truck in four wheel drive and keep a tire on the edge of the grass so that we’d have more traction than just going down the paved driveway, so we both went to my sisters and took showers and refilled the water jugs. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to live next to my sister.   It was the best shower.

So on the way home, while I had wet hair, I asked Mike to drive me around to see what the river was doing. It was going down! Yay!!  It had went down quite a bit!    Here’s the “lake” that is behind Gordon Barker’s house. I know the road crew that worked out here last year read this blog and they should be pleased to know that their giant culvert did help with the flooding on Barnrock.  The river had really went down in this picture.   See where the grass and snow meet?   That is where it had been earlier in the day.

Barker's Lake II

Here’s another…this is the Nordyke Bridge. Can you believe that in 2002 water ran over that bridge?

Nordyke Bridge

Water also ran over this swinging bridge in 2002. While a little scary to walk out with the fast moving water just a few feet down, it was nothing like 2002 when the bridge was washed out.

Swinging Bridge 2

I’m going to put another picture of that swinging bridge in here because I felt really brave walking out there.  Showing off a little.

Swinging Bridge 1

The river was making a rushing sound part of the day…I’m used to the lazy North Fork looking like this and hearing laughter…not rushing!

River BAnk

But everyone has to have a day where they speak up and demand a little respect..maybe a little fear…

Swinging Bridge Lower POint

And the North Fork did today!

Road Closed



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