A Cowboy’s Faith: Flash flooding real danger

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Keep the throttle to the floor and don’t dare let up on the gas.”

Passenger advice was emphatically demanding as flashflood waters rolled up over the hood splashing harshly on the windshield.

Almost impossible to see as pour down intensity increased yet lights indicated a tailgater and left lane had traffic too.

With torrential rain, racing windshield wipers, heavy traffic, nearly impossible to hear the motor running.

Then sure enough one’s greatest fear, “The car died,” exhausted driver exclaimed. “It won’t start.”

Stalled in the flashflood with other drivers honking obviously shouting inaudible orders too while only thing to do was “pray.”

Almost impossible to believe, the car started again: “Keep it going.”

Far from out of trouble yet though as bumper-to-bumper traffic moved forward on the flooded city thoroughfare. Still difficult to see through heavy rainfall while waters continued rushing across the street and then came a red stoplight.

Only thing to do was take a deep breath, say another prayer, and start again when the light turned green. Fortunately rainfall slowed and sky lightened somewhat as leaving the city limits on the main highway toward the ranch.

Not quite halfway there, traffic ahead was visibly stopped by a trailer truck apparently jackknifed across the roadway. Pulling into the highway department’s gravel lot, other vehicles went ahead but soon came back looking for alternate route.

Getting to the ranch was now the only object, turning onto interstate to the east soon finding it closed too. By this time, flashing law enforcement vehicles and highway crews with caution signs were attempting to slow and direct traffic.

It was a far roundabout yet scenic drive as sprinkles continued with ditches and draws overflowing before ranch arrival. Two hours later than anticipated but extremely thankful to be home.

Most blessed not to be stranded in the city’s high waters pleading for assistance, which would have been longtime impossible.

Come to find out later the traffic blockage was a downed power line with the state highway closed for a week.

Definitely remember when the car became stranded in high water under the railroad bridge and had to be towed out.

Many horror stories about flooding throughout history and of recent demanding alert for increased caution.

Reminded of First Chronicles 12:15: “Water was at flood stage putting everyone to flight.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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