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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Everyone has a story to tell

Thursday, January 6, 2005

As excess rain flooded roads and filled sewer mains to the point that city residents experienced problems flushing toilets, people in southern rural parts of the county were up to their knees in flood water.

"I made it through to work all right this morning," said Brent Knox, who lives in the river bottom area of Bowling Green. The Bowling Green Feed and Grain Mill is only two miles from his house. But this morning he had to take a 14-mile detour to get to work because of the flooding from Eel River. "But if it keeps raining today, I think I'll have to camp out here."

The communities of Po-land and Bowling Green are being turned into islands as roads leading into the small towns are closed due to rising water swelling over the banks of the Eel River.

Betty Lanke, a real estate agent traveling through on business, was "amazed at the flooding around Highway 246. I could tell that in an hour some of the areas I was driving through were going to have water across the roads."

Many long-time residents just stayed home.

"Our older clientele have stayed home today," Main Street Pizza co-owner Debbie Clements said, explaining the small lunch crowd at the Clay City restaurant. A 4-wheel drive vehicle eliminates traveling problems, but other than that, just a few leaks are her main problems.

But others had to use creative navigation to find a way to their destinations.

"I had to circle around and use Interstate 70 to get to work this morning," said Karen Brown, who lives in Brazil and works as a teller at the Poland First State Bank. "I had to go all the way to Cloverdale and wind my way back to the bank."

And a few of those found themselves stuck in the water.

Approximately 60 mot-orists have been stranded by the water over the past two days.

"They might get through the water at first, but then water stalls the engine, and they're stranded," said Mike Grove, owner of Red Bird Garage Inc. and Wrecker Service. "People just need to pay attention to warning signs. Our trucks don't have inflatable pontoons."

Some children, unable to be reached by school buses over the past two days, are enjoying an extended holiday break. But some parents braved rising waters to take their children to school. As water continued to fall from the skies through the day, parents became nervous.

"I took my daughter to school and picked her up afterwards," said Jackie Starkey, who lives just west of the Eel River Bridge. "There is this one spot that I've never seen water cross over the road before, but it was on both sides this afternoon. I think this is the worst flooding I've ever seen around here."

She feels "lucky to live on a hill" while watching the rushing water only a stone's throw from her house. "We go through this at least once a year," Starkey said, frustrated at the lack of warning by officials of road closings. "They just don't get the signs out early enough to let people know how bad it is."

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