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More Flooding

As you may have heard, Texas is still experiencing rains and flooding. The good news is our lakes which have been almost extinct for a few years are now back in business with much higher levels though still not at full capacity. The bad news is this latest flood did trap me and come uncomfortably close. I was as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs (Hey, this is the south!). Due to my company not wanting to lose this gate in the current oilfield crisis, I stayed in position too long. The water rose higher than the last time and cut me off in all directions. I was barely able to get my truck through it to look for other possible escape routes but found no positions I could still get to that were any better than where I was. I decided to stay put rather than risk the deep waters and mud with my trailer.

Front gate floodingBehind gate floodingSide flooding

As the water came up to my truck tires in front of my trailer, I hooked up and pushed the trailer back farther to get my truck out of the water and get the best possible height under my trailer. The water continued to rise. I called my supervisor but his attitude was entirely too laid back for any kind of much needed reassurance to ring true. I called my past supervisor who had previously saved me from losing everything in another flood. He gave me the info I needed to find the flooding levels on the Internet, told me what river to watch, and suggested I put up a pole outside so I could see if the water was still rising or not. I remembered that I still had a 5 foot piece of PVC in the back of the truck for measuring my support trailer fuel tank. I strapped it to the support trailer which was already surrounded by the runoff since it sits in a lower area. All I could do then was wait and watch.

The Internet reports said the river would be cresting within a couple more inches. That was soothing. It was getting late but I continued to watch my pole for a couple hours. When the water level stayed at the same level for an hour, I was able to get a bit of sleep.

The next morning, the water started to recede a little from the front of my truck. I was still blocked in for a couple more days. I could see one of the families that own the ranch I’m on come by on the other side of the water. They had a net to catch whatever came in with the flood. I did notice the father wading into the water then suddenly jumping back out. I assumed he saw a snake. I had seen one fleeing the water while I was hitching up. When the road opened up, I got word from the other gate guards that we had some guests up the road toward the pad so I road up there on my scooter to check it out. What I found were a whole bunch of huge alligator gar fish trapped in a gully on one side of the road. They had swam through the drain pipe that runs under the road and got stuck in a pool between the road and fence. A couple of them had gotten trapped out of the water by driftwood. One young one got stuck with his head through the fence. With the flood waters still running against them fast through the pipe, they were all very tired from trying to get back out. The two in the driftwood seemed to have given up. I grabbed a very long piece of wood and managed to shift the wood just enough for one of them to get out. The other appreciated having more room and water but was too tired to get over the last hurdle. I gave him a pep talk then left him to rest and try again in his own time. When I checked on them the next morning, some had made it out and the last one in the driftwood had made it to the pool. I checked again the next day and found all of them gone except the one whose head was stuck in the fence. He died.

Texas alligator gar

The rain and flooding continued farther north and has caused a lot of problems in San Antonio and above but I’ve been good and dry here since this flood.

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