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EndNotes

Posts tagged: Flood

Water, water everywhere

We are preparing for a flood here in the Pacific Northwest. I receive lists of emergency supplies and plans on what to do if we get stranded at work. I did get stranded at work a few years ago when the rivers rose and we became an island. It was the best slumber party I ever attended! We knew the water was coming so we arrived at work with our personal survival kits of DVDs, comfort food, crossword puzzle books, grocery store magazines and really tacky sweats to sleep in.  Sleeping two nights on my office floor I could have lived without, but we sat up late and created party central.  Jokes and stories and true confessions kept us entertained. While the rivers rise, I am not thinking of flashlights as much as “what can I bring to the party?”

If you were stranded at work for three days, what do you consider essential to have for comfort? For entertainment? For survival?

(From the S-R photo archives: A truck drives down flooded Interstate 5 in Lewis County in 2009)

Water, water everywhere

Water, water everywhere! Rebecca's post reminds me of a story from our family history.  

In 1948 my great aunt and uncle (yes, they really were great!) lived in Vanport City, Oregon, a city quickly constructed in 1943 to house the workers at the wartime Kaiser Shipyards in Portland and Vancouver.

In the spring of 1948, high levels of snow melting from the mountains and heavy rains filled the tributaries feeding the Columbia River.  On the afternoon of May 30, a 200-foot section of the dike broke, sending a wall of water into the community.  My uncle, not believing the false assurances voiced over the radio, had rented a pickup truck and piled his family, a few belongings and the home-alone children from next door, into the truck.

 Before he drove away, he decided he could not leave the new refrigerator behind. He managed to clunk it down the staircase, out the door and up into the back of the truck.  Uncle Art drove off the  traffic-jammed road and across fields to escape the water. Everyone survived and the refrigerator had a decades-long life in its new home, Milwaukie, Oregon.

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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

Ask a question: Catherine welcomes questions about aging issues and grief. Email her at endnotescolumn@gmail.com.

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