In May 2015 something really surprising happened here in our small western Oklahoma town. It rained. That in itself would be amazing after the long drought we’ve had, but when I say it rained, I mean it rained.
Now I’ve lived here in western Oklahoma for most of my adult life, and this was the most rain I’ve ever seen fall in a single afternoon. Here in my town alone creeks burst their banks, vehicles drowned, homes were flooded, and roads and bridges were washed away. And unfortunately many other Oklahoma communities experienced this same rain and flooding.
I wish all my friends and neighbors affected by this a speedy cleanup and recovery.
Luckily for us we live up on a hill, but we still had a little bit more than ankle deep water in our backyard. I mean our entire backyard was covered in water. Water was rapidly flowing from one side of our house, through the backyard, and down our driveway. So much sediment was moved from our backyard, we now have a sandbar built up at the end of our drive.
That was some rain. That was some drought busting rain. So even with all the bad, the flooding and everything, something good happened. The earth is no longer parched.
Now here something kind of amazing. We got our lake back.
On the south side of our town is a small city park and lake. For the last few years that lake had dried up until it was nothing but a small pond. It’s boat ramps lead to dry ground. There’s a fishing dock there that was actually sitting on the ground, dry, and several yards away from even the slightest moisture. You could walk from one side of the lake to the other without even getting muddy. Sagebrush had started to grow in the once water filled channels.
If it hadn’t been for the city park surrounding the lake, you wouldn’t have know there was a lake there. It looked like you just wandered onto some ranchers land, and you expected to see a herd of cattle grazing on the dry prairie grass slowing making their way to the small watershed.
And just days before that drenching rain the lake looked exactly as I described, dry. We got so much rain in that one afternoon the entire lake filled back up to overflowing.
Just prior to recording this I drove back down to the lake to check on thing, happy to say it’s still full of water and it's back to its pre drought levels. It’s waters are clearing and are no longer a deep opaque dirt red. The plant life surrounding the lake is a deep green. There were families picnicking, and there were people out there actually fishing. Our lake side city park has sprung back to life.
So here’s your writing suggestion for this episode:
What were your experiences with this rain? Has your community recovered from the flooding and drought?
I look forward to reading all about it.
Links from this episode
Oklahoma Officials warn residents about West Nile Virus
Elk City Lake 2014 / 2015
Our backyard starting to flood
Flooding in Elk City forces evacuation of some area homes - KOKH 25
This episode's bonus interesting articles
16 cool things to try with the new Google Photos
Want to Be a Better Writer? Cut These 7 Words
This episode's bonus musical selection
We Can Not Fly So High by Dark Princess
True Survivor by David Hasselhoff (from the KUNG FURY soundtrack)
Missing Ol' Johnny Cash by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard
Video (Makeing Of): https://youtu.be/PRv7BVEsk0w
This episode's bonus read
Archie VS. Predator #1
This episode's bonus Audible book recommendation
Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life From an Addiction to Film by Patton Oswalt
This episode's bonus binge watch on Netflix
This episode's bonus thing you should watch because it's awesome
(an over-the-top 80's style action comedy)