Even if this week’s storms don’t cause flooding up and down the Blanchard River, the lingering threat of rain is enough to cause further damage to our psyche.
There’s a reason why our mood swings upon a mere prediction of rain, especially when the weatherman says it has the potential to accumulate more than 2 inches.
Mother Nature has not been kind to Hancock and Putnam counties with four of the Blanchard’s worst floods occurring since 2007. And now a forecast of 2-4 inches over the next several days.
As if anyone in this watershed needs another headache.
Didn’t we just go through this, or does it just seem like it? All this looking up, and hoping, and praying the rain somehow goes anywhere but here. Not that we would wish flooding on our worst enemy.
Flood prep is in the DNA of anyone who has been through the past 10 years here — the small floods, the big floods, or just the threat of a flood.
While no one is predicting the worst this time, past flood victims have likely already entered “flood mode” and started weather-proofing their homes and valuables the best they can — just in case. They know the drill too well. Better safe than sorry.
Flood veterans do things like make sure the sump pump is working, and perhaps buy a new one to keep on the shelf just in case. They fire up the generator, if it hasn’t been used for a while, so it’s ready to hook up to a pump, if needed.
There is always that chance, after all, that the meteorologist is right about 4 inches.
And, of course, they start moving things from basements and other low-lying areas to higher ground as part of a process which, unfortunately, has become a routine.
If practice makes perfect, they’re experts.
No, no one who has been repeatedly flooded needs another wake-up call this week, or next. They’ve been through the painful ritual of waiting and watching the river charts and tracking crests.
Yes, this community has become adept at preparedness. Each flood has made us wiser, but also a bit more cynical.
Over time, we’ve been conditioned to believe that if you live or work near the Blanchard River, flooding is never more than just one bad storm away.
Those who don’t flood, and don’t have the frustration and stress that comes with it, should offer support for those who do.
We are, after all, in this together.
Reach out to those who may need a lift this week. You know who they are. Fill a sandbag if it comes to that, or help move a couch back to the basement if it doesn’t.
A call, a visit, a little encouragement and compassion will go a long way — even if we get lucky and the rain stops short.