As The Flood Recedes

Part 1Part 2Part 3 – Part 4

It’s been about a week since we had a near record setting amount of rain fall on our region.  The rain came from the west and it was predicted a good bit ahead of time.  It was predicted that the amount of rain would be great below Toledo Bend (Not a great effect on flooding in my community), over Toledo Bend proper (A threat on my community), and north/west of Toledo Bend, where streams receiving this water would feed the lake, making that part of the storm the largest threat).  As The Sabine River Authority stood back and waited until it was too late, we were totally unaware of what was coming.  I have shared with you a couple of articles already that explore this event, and this new article is more of the same.

Before I delve into the photoblog that caused a small surge in traffic for Just Chill Here, which my sister so nicely said “I sure hope they don’t click on your other stuff with that potty mouth!” in a very judgmental way, I want to share a set of rumors I have picked up that compliment the answer to a question that we may never know:

Why did the Sabine River Authority wait until the water was upon us to lower the lake?

These rumors are just things I have heard or read, but interesting to ponder regardless:

  • They have to keep the lake levels high so the bald eagle population has a pristine habitat.
  • They had to keep the levels high to ensure that several species of rare trees on the lake would stay healthy.
  • They had to keep the waters high for a big bass tournament that was either going on, or coming up, or one that had just passed.  (I am not sure!)
  • They can’t activate the flood gates unless the lake is a certain height, and it didn’t reach that height until it was too late.
  • The Sabine River Authority is trying to force people out of their homes and land so they can continue to flood the region as they please.

I can’t substantiate any of these rumors, but I figured I would share with you some of the things I overheard while running into folks in recovery mode.

For all of you getting back into your homes, take plenty of water and try to be safe.  It’s hot, it’s muggy, and it’s ideal conditions for bad things to happen.

Let’s get back to our story…

Remember, you can click the images to get the big, prettier versions.

This little guy is a Timber/Branded/Canebreak Rattlesnake. As a kid I would walk these woods and I would catch snakes and play with them. Yeah, I was that kid. I had no general fear of animals except for maybe my grandfather's old bulls that liked to chase us around all the time. Anyhow, in all of my days I've never ran into one of these, at least, I can't remember having done so. My wife, Brandi, was with me and she spotted him. She kind of freaked out and wanted me to kill him. I went with my own choice to get out and get up close and personal. I have a full frame shot of him, but I like this close up shot because it really shows how pretty he is. Or she. We don't have to be sexist or something.
This little guy is a Timber/Branded/Canebreak Rattlesnake. As a kid I would walk these woods and catch snakes and play with them. Yeah, I was that kid. I had no general fear of animals except for maybe my grandfather’s old bulls that liked to chase us around. In all of my days I’ve never ran into one of these, at least, I can’t remember having done so. My wife, Brandi, was with me and she spotted him. She kind of freaked out and wanted me to kill him. I went with my own choice to get out and get up close and personal. I have a full frame shot of him, but I like this close up shot because it really shows how pretty he is. Or she. We don’t have to be sexist or something.  Oh, and one other thing – if you are returning to your flooded property, keep an eye out for these.

I have a lot of these types of photos. They are very fun to look at, but most likely just for people familiar with Lynn Nash Road. The reason why is because the road is now a river, and riding on it with a boat is an almost surreal experience. My nephew chauffeured me all the way into my parent's place and we enjoy the first day that was sunny, not super hot, and definitely not raining.
I have a lot of these types of photos. They are very fun to look at, but most likely just for people familiar with Lynn Nash Road. The reason why is because the road is now a river, and riding on it with a boat is an almost surreal experience. My nephew chauffeured me all the way into my parent’s place and we enjoy the first day that was sunny, not super hot, and definitely not raining.
I don't know the story of how my cousin, Seth, lost his truck right here, but I am sure it was very frustrating. Also, it will become a running joke in the future. I can feel it in my funny bone.
I don’t know the story of how my cousin, Seth, lost his truck right here, but I am sure it was very frustrating. Also, it will become a running joke in the future. I can feel it in my funny bone.
Someone mentioned these poles were 45 feet on Facebook. I don't know about that, but I do know that this particular part of the road has never been underwater until now. This used to be where my dad would take his ATVs, tractor, lawnmower, etc., because of the height.
Someone mentioned these poles were 45 feet on Facebook. I don’t know about that, but I do know that this particular part of the road has never been underwater until now. This used to be where my dad would take his ATVs, tractor, lawnmower, etc., because of the height.
One of Bowen's most stressful moments as a boater pitted him with my dad's small 15 hp motor against this strong current. It took a bit of time to make it through, but we did it. I think he told me to watch for floaters about 20 times, I had to remind him that at this point the floaters floated off. Also, I noted that the way the water was really moving, and the way it was rolling, gave me the impression that the road was no longer there. Recent photos I have seen prove me to be right.
One of Bowen’s most stressful moments as a boater pitted him with my dad’s small 15 hp motor against this strong current. It took a bit of time to make it through, but we did it. I think he told me to watch for floaters about 20 times, I had to remind him that at this point the floaters floated off. Also, I noted that the way the water was really moving, and the way it was rolling, gave me the impression that the road was no longer there. Recent photos I have seen prove me to be right.
hmmmm
Me and Bowen were not the only ones back here.  My cousin Seth and his father Ezra paddled their little boat in.  It’s a bit of a crazy thing to do, but if you go through the woods and stay out of the crazier parts of the current, it’s not all that bad.  They declined my offer to tow them out.
hmmm
This is Cannon Jordan’s place.  In earlier pictures you could barely see the top of his home.  The waters were quickly falling at this point in time, almost as fast as it rose.
hmmm
My Aunt Debra’s trailer has been pushed all the way into some trees.  The currently apparently finished the job it started the night the water crested.  The current going through here was still intense.  Bowen would not get me a better angle to get photos, and rightfully so, the water here was a bit tricky,
hmmm
As we approached my parent’s place via the field, I took this shot to not only show the disarray of their property, but to give a better idea of how big and how much work my dad did to get it looking so open.  Imagine all of this as trees, thickets, and sloughs.
hmm
My dad’s storage shed floated up and the door is facing the ground.  It was moved a bit from where it originally stood and I am afraid where it lands will be a very inconvenient spot.
hmmm
The corner of the pump shed appears to be on the front porch.  I think the only reason the building did not float off is because the electric line was attached to it.  The water was still well over my head in their yard here and the current was very strong.  You can even see how far it has dropped by looking at my dad’s skinning pole (That T-shaped metal piping in the background.
hmmm
This is a camp that my dad’s friend, John Smith, owns.  Mr. John is from down south where he is currently watching his home and preparing for these very same flood waters.  The cabin to the right was built by me and my dad.  We insulated it and put wall paneling in.  It was a fun project and we made a little money on it.  It all went underwater, but amazingly, it did not float away or even so much as move.
hmmm
This is Mr. John’s camp.  To the left is the cabin me and my dad prepared for him and the left is their bathroom and whatnot.  I believed there was a porch for the cabin to the left, and it floated off behind the building.
This is a great reference photo. The water got this high on the cabin. I think the water rose completely over the building, but the debris tells a different story. Even so, this line is a sign of remarkable water height.
This is a great reference photo. The water got this high on the cabin. I think the water rose completely over the building, but the debris tells a different story. Even so, this line is a sign of remarkable water height.
This
This is Mr. John’s pavilion, where he and his wife, Mrs. Jan like to sit and cook, eat, drink beer and chill.  His lawnmower and other things are stowed away here and you can see the rear of his mower floating.  To the right you can see chairs and other debris that stopped at the thicket.

 

What
What is all this?  Well, my dad had a tool shed and off the side of it was a little drop that he parked a four-wheeler under (I believe it was Mr. John Smith’s).  That drop was ripped from the shed and it caught onto some trees in the back.  Behind the drop, which is the rusted tin, is a pen that was formerly used for hunting dogs.  It was a big, expensive pen that my dad made and it floated off into some trees as well.  Hopefully we can salvage some of the lumber.
My dad
My dad’s tool shed was ripped from the foundation and it took some damage to the current.  It looks like his tractor shed stopped the building’s momentum.  Funny story here.  The current here was rather cattywampus and this is my parent’s back/side yard.  There are a lot of big trees and Bowen expertly maneuvered through.  However, when I said he should move me closer, he exclaimed “Fuck that Uncle!  We ain’t losing Pawpaw’s boat!”  He was playing it really safe, but I believe he could have maneuvered through anything.
This is the side of my parent's home. The water has receded quite a bit and it is still halfway up the air conditioner. I would have liked my nephew to pull us up under the porch so I could get out, but he declined my request. That's fine, because it definitely would not have been safe. If you look closely at the porch swings, you can see that the water got crazy high. There is a faint water line to be see, and if that line is accurate, the water did not go into the attic. I suppose when it was me, Harvey and my dad, the water was at its highest, possibly, but all other signs show that the water went higher. Just now seeing this photo up close is telling me an entire different story. With no water in the attic, it is possible to remodel with major construction effort, but I highly doubt my parents will rebuild back here again.
This is the side of my parent’s home. The water has receded quite a bit and it is still halfway up the air conditioner. I would have liked my nephew to pull us up under the porch so I could get out, but he declined my request. That’s fine, because it definitely would not have been safe. If you look closely at the porch swings, you can see that the water got crazy high. There is a faint water line to be see, and if that line is accurate, the water did not go into the attic. I suppose when it was me, Harvey and my dad, the water was at its highest, possibly, but all other signs show that the water went higher. Just now seeing this photo up close is telling me an entire different story. With no water in the attic, it is possible to remodel with major construction effort, but I highly doubt my parents will rebuild back here again.  There is a green dot that is on the water line as well.  I don’t know if that’s from my camera of if it’s a sticker…Looked through my other photos and have determined that it is a green sticker, most likely placed by my Uncle Carl.  This requires investigation! (It was placed by him!)
This
This is another point of reference.  In a previous article I showed that the water was up to this metal bracket.  This shows that the water has fallen quite a bit.

We focused primarily on the receding waters of my old “neighborhood.”  The photos I am sharing are a few days old.  As of now the water is primarily gone, but there is a huge mess.  I work slowly because of my schedule, but I will be continuing this project. I have many photos to share and a message to deliver to those who want to hear it.

Rumblings of lawsuits fire toward the Sabine River Authority are taking place.  The idea of a large class action lawsuit is appealing to me not because of possible compensation for my people, but for change to a policy that puts profit over people.

All Photos Taken by John Nash

 

 

 

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