I'm very worried about my friends and family who are suffering through yet another flood down in Southern Illinois and St. Louis. Reports state that this could be the biggest one of all with the Mississippi River now being at 13' above flood level and rising. The National Guard has been activated and they're monitoring 19 levees in this region.
I remember the Great Flood of 1993. It was terrifying since we lived very near the Mississippi--my
hometown of Dupo, IL. was about 3 miles away over the railroad tracks which took you right into East Carondelet, Ill. This small town is just a stone's throw from the River and I remember going down there for parties--drinking beer and watching the steamboats go by. (Just kidding, I'm not that old, but I do remember watching barges....:-)
When the water started getting dangerously high, they closed off traffic for the looky-loos like me who wanted to see it all for themselves. I did convince the guard to let me pass and the images were so scary. I remember the water was just a few feet below the levee so I knew all hell was about to break loose.
The lady who raised me, my second mother Mary Lee Johnson, lived in East Carondelet and I told her we had to evacuate. I planned on bringing her to my mom's house--what was I thinking? In hindsight, our house was in a direct path too--ahhh, the ignorance of youth. Anyway, Mary couldn't leave her house until she had packed up some of her favorite canned goods. So off we went with my car loaded up with tomatoes, pickles, green beans and more from their fabulous garden out back.
We sat huddled together in my mom's house watching TV and praying.....as we watched, I saw floodwaters carrying off Gummersheimer's house, a neighbor who lived on a farm in Columbia. (Luckily, no one was hurt there).
I hope history doesn't repeat itself....The stats of this flood were devastating. The loss across nine states was $12 billion, with $3 billion in Missouri alone. 55,000 buildings were destroyed or damaged with 95,000 people in need of public aid. 2/3 of the levees along the Missouri and upper Mississippi were breached and about 50 people died.
I'm still praying.....
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