Friday, December 24, 2010

And the Rains Came Down Again

During the spring of 2005 the Virgin River and Santa Clara River overflowed their banks. The floods made national news. Video clips of house after house being lost to the rivers and stories of the town of Gunlock being isolated were reported over and over for weeks. After the waters receded, the bridges rebuilt, and roads repaved the city said they had reinforced the structures so a disaster of this magnitude wouldn’t occur again. They were right. After a constant 4 days of rain in December 2010 (17 inches, which is more than the annual rainfall) the Virgin and Santa Clara rivers broke from their banks again. Zion National Park and a nearby town were evacuated. Bike trails, roads, and even a nine-hole golf course disappeared under the muddy water of the river. The news reports said the rivers were running higher than in 2005. This year no houses were lost. The rivers carried plenty of flotsam but not much else. They worried about a dam breaking and the loss of a couple of bridges but it didn’t happen. The rivers have crested and receded now and the rain has stopped. The flood of 2010 resulted in a lot of mud, pictures, and memories.

Happy Homecoming!

Tommy is home in the United States again. After two years in a foreign country it is good to have him back. We left to visit New Mexico early Thursday morning. Tommy’s flight didn’t arrive until Saturday which meant that we had all of Friday to visit with my parents and Nathan. We had a great picnic on the Sand Bluffs with Tuna noodle salad and hot dogs to eat. It’s been years since I’ve been to the bluffs and I had forgotten the spectacular view of the Malpies lava flow. Before Saturday came I made sure to cook up a double batch of Snickerdoodles to surprise Tommy. Dad and Nathan enjoyed the cookies as well. Before we went to the airport on Saturday, we made a couple of stops hoping to accomplish chores before Tommy’s plane arrived so that we could relax and enjoy a lunch together with him. We had to perform some acrobatics in a grocery store where we purchase a “welcome home” balloon that tried to float away. Lucky for us, the balloon floated to a low enough portion of the ceiling so that Brian could lift me up to grab it. Mom said she missed out on a great picture moment. We didn’t quite make it to the gate to see Tommy come off the plane. He was waiting for us near baggage claim which is where Dad and Nathan found him. I was so happy to see him. We didn’t get to spend a lot of time visiting with Tommy but we enjoyed hearing and seeing the things he learned and saw while on his mission.