Monday, October 10, 2022

Missouri: Linn: A Turtle and a Memory

I met a sibling for lunch in Linn, along Highway 50. 

Outside the restaurant, on the pavement, was a turtle. 

Turtle outside Mexican restaurant in Linn, Missouri. October 2022. Credit: Mzuriana.
Turtle outside Mexican restaurant in Linn, Missouri. October 2022. Credit: Mzuriana.


An odd location, it seemed. 

I bent down to take a look and to take a snap, and to whisper a hope that if it planned to cross the road that it would do so safely as it moved through the parking lot. 

Seeing the turtle reminded me of an upcoming anniversary: The Great Flood of 1993

That spring and early summer, before the flood came, it had rained and rained and rained and rained for weeks. There'd also been more than usual rain in the preceding fall. 

From the street's-eye view of that time, it wasn't the rain that caused note. It was the End-Times number of creatures that my descendant and I saw en route to Arrow Rock from Jefferson City, each day we went up for her rehearsals for the Arrow Rock's Lyceum production of Oliver. Snakes, turtles, frogs. Some living, some squashed. 

My parents' business was in the flood plain of the Great Flood. 

Here's an entry from my mother's flood journal: 

Saturday, July 31, 1993

The impossible happened - the levee that was built to withstand a 100-year flood ... broke. At 11:30 p.m. Friday night something awakened me - and my eyes focused on the television ... I could see a spotlight shining down on flickering water and hear the helicopter whirring sound and the announcer's voice telling of the levee break. 

In a very short period of time, hundreds of acres of what was Chesterfield's [Missouri] economic boom were under 10 to 14 feet of water in some places. Some 500 businesses were down - virtually all without flood insurance. Many of us had gotten it a day or two before - feeling the Tuesday crest just might spill a few feet over the levee. A five-day [waiting period in coverage] (after you pay the premium) is required before the insurance is effective so most of us will not have flood damage insurance money. 

All day we watched and listened; we saw a man chest high in the water plucked up into a basket lowered by helicopter, people rescued from rooftops of businesses .... 

No comments: