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Another Flood in Texas

Like death and taxes, one thing that is certain in Texas is that there will be a flood every year. As you may remember, I got caught in a flood last year and nearly lost everything. Several months before that, I got pretty close to being flooded out of my gate. This year, I was specifically told I was in a major flood plain when I arrived at my current gate and was warned again when the spring rains started. I took the precaution of hitching up my trailer and pulling everything in the day before it was supposed to hit. It really helps that I have a new truck box this year which does not block my view of my hitch so I can hitch-up very quickly now.

The next day, the rains started. I kept an eye on the road and all around me. By nightfall, the road was still clear so I decided to hang in there and went to bed. Very early in the morning, my weather radio started going off constantly with flood alerts. I checked outside and saw that everything was fine around me so no problem yet. Later, when daylight came, I checked the road and found it just starting to cover to the south. To the north, the road was covered with fast running water and rising. I waded in a bit to check the level with my hiking pole since I would have to pull my trailer through it to either hunker down up on the first drilling pad or to turn my trailer around to get it out of there all together.  The flashlight popped off my hiking pole and is now probably in China darn it. I really liked and used that light. Bad pole/light design.

McKenzie flood southMcKenzie flood west

When I walked back to my trailer, I could see the water was now over the road to the south and was crossing over behind my trailer pad. I called my boss for permission to abandon post for a day or two, secured the company equipment, then headed out through the water. I slowly pulled through the foot and a half of water to the north so as not to soak the undercarriage or hit a hidden pothole hard. Since I don’t have an H2S gas monitor, I turned the rig around up at the pad and drove back through the water to go out to a campground. When I got close to the front, I spotted a large graveled area that was just big enough and high enough to pull in to stay. With 4 golf batteries and a full tank of water, I knew I could easily boondock for a couple days. That allowed me to not only stay safely for free but to also continue working and collecting pay by driving back down in my truck to guard the gate from my vehicle. I knew I was safe doing that as long as the tanker trucks were still navigating the water to continue their runs. I actually had a good time and a nice change of pace with plenty of walking up and down the road where I could and both my smart phone and Kindle Fire with me. I worked that way for a couple days from dawn till dusk and got to go out to the nearby Pilot station for gas and dinner (in that order not the opposite 😉 ).

McKenzie flood driving

As soon as the water receded, I towed my trailer back to the gate. Getting back in was not easy now that everything around the pad was mud. Much of the rock on the road had been washed away. It took a few tries and some steep angling to get in past the mud. I also had to get it lined up as close as possible to the way it was to re-attach the sewer lines. They use solid plastic sewer pipes with very little give to hook guards up to external sewer tanks.

I stayed hitched up for another day to be sure I didn’t get surprised. The guys were all very welcoming and happy I was back in position. I was home again.

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