27 July 2013

Flood Damage in K-Country

Hwy #532 Closed at Indian Graves Campground

Hwy #532 Washed-out Beyond Road Closed Sign
 Time to go to the hills. Friday was the best weather day in a long time around here. Tried to get out to do a photo-shoot for my book - The G.O.O.D Plan - Get Out Of Dodge. Tougher than expected.

First, tried to get to K-Country via Highway #532 - Indian Graves to The Hump to The Forestry Trunk Road. Discovered a "Road Closed" barrier just after the intersection to the Indian Graves Campground. Found a good trail around, continued up Hwy #532. Only made it a few more klicks. Then found the culverts had been washed out. Totally. Had a little hike up creek. There is a possible ford through the creek. But, before attempting a crossing met with a local rancher. He said not to bother, as Hwy #532 was washed -out for at least 1/4 mile just pass Bear Lake parking area. 

So, I made tracks out of there. I dropped in to the MD of Ranchlands #66 Office at Chain Lakes. The road to The Gap is open but Hwy's 40 & 532 are closed at the junction. So, you have to double back if you go out there.

Bridge Out South of Mean Creek & Livingston River
 I am heading South. Beautiful sunny day. Why would I cut my day short??

Head South on Hwy #22 to Maycroft. Then head West on Hwy #517 to The Gap. Great scenery along the Oldman River, but too crowded for me. 

Arrive at the junction with Hwy #40 - The Forestry Trunk Road, head North. Pass Dutch Creek. Pass Oldman River. Pass Livingston Falls. Finally, traffic is starting to thinout. 

First Westward offshoot just South of the Mean Creek confluence with
Bridge Out North of Mean Creek & Livingston River
the Livingston River, bridge is out. In fact, one section of the bridge is missing, displaced downstream a few hundred meters. No going that way.

The next road to the West, was just North of the confluence of Mean Creek & the Livingston River. The road was great to the bridge. The bridge appeared to be in great shape. However, the Westend, the bridge approach and the road beyond were gone for at least 200 meters. 

Then, continuing North  to the junction of Hwy's 40 and 532. North of the triangle "Road Closed" signs on Hwy #40. And just East of the
Two Wash-outs Between The Hump and Trunk Road
triangle "Road Closed" signs on Hwy #532.  However, not too far East on Hwy #532, there are two washouts. Vehicles with low clearance are not crossing these. I bottomed out a time or two, but was able to drive beyond. I made it to The Hump, but decided against driving down to see the washout I had heard about earlier in the day. As it was, even here at The Hump, there were other folks. two driving a Nissan Titan crewcab and a couple of hikers who had parked their vehicles at the washouts. Too crowded for me.
The Hump Looking Down to Indian Graves (Hwy #532)

I headed back down towards Mean Creek, and spotted a skid trail into a logged block. Some very deep ruts where the flood waters washed away part of the track, but enough road to get away from the crowds.

Finally, some peace and quiet. Some great scenery to back-drop my photo-shoot. A very good day.

Remember, when you head to the hills, don't forget your camera!!


22 July 2013

More Flood 2013 Pictures

22 June 2013 - Highway #2 Looking SW

22 June 2013 - Highway #2 Looking South

22 June 2013 - Highway #2 Looking West

22 June 2013 - Buses & Tractors at Moody's Equipment

22 June 2013 - Northbound on Highway #2. Bridge Over the Highwood River. Down 6' from the 20th of June.

28 June 2013 - Pump House Across From HSA. Not Much Change From 22 June 2013.

04 July 2013 - Southbound on 5th Street, Looking Southeast Towards Sunrise and Hampton's.

04 July 2013 - The New Highwood Lake, From 5th Street Southbound.

04 July 2013 - Water, Water, Everywhere.......

04 July 2013 - Looking South Down 21 Street East.

04 July 2013 - Looking South Down 21 Street East.

04 July 2013 - Condo Complex in Sunrise Next to HSA.

04 July 2013 - HSA Staff Parking Area.

04 July 2013 - Pump House Across From HSA. Water is Still High!

12 July 2013 - Looking South Down 21 Street East. 500 Million Gallons Pumped and Still More To Go.
The recovery phase continues in High River. Folks are exhausted and frustrated. Thank God for the volunteers and their endless energy and patience. The folks in this town really do appreciate all you have done for all of us. THANK YOU!!

The government - at all levels - on the other hand, is proving to be as two faced as always. But thanks to facebook, personal blogs and twitter; the average person is keeping the world informed about things around here and holding the elected representatives' feet in  the fire, so's to speak. With such scrutiny, it is hard to be dishonest to folks and get away with it. Hopefully, the elected ones will start to work with the people and use co-operation, instead of confrontation to resolve future flood or other disaster mitigation. 

The insurance industry is also being held to a high standard around these parts. That is good to see. It will be interesting to see who renews their policy with whom, when all is said and done.

I believe this incident has brought the folks of High River closer together, and forged a stronger sense of community. We will get through this. To those outside, may you never have to go through a situation like this. And, if you do, may you at least have a bugout bag full of clothes, shaving gear and important documents to quickly carry out of your home with your 72 hour supply of water and food. And if you still have time, do not forget your important photographs or external hard-drive with copies of all your memories. 

Be Ever Vigilant,