Evacuated

Wednesday September 16th 2020

The rain fell at a moderate level all night. The report his morning was that the hurricane had made landfall about 180 miles to the west of my RV home. It was moving slowly and flooding was predicted to the north and east of the storm. Earlier in the week I had verified with the camp host that flooding in the campground was rare and the location I was in was away from any of the areas that might flood.

Around 10AM the rain went from moderate to heavy to deluge. Watching the runoff outside my RV home confirmed that I was in a decent position relative to the water flow. The rain continued to fall at a very heavy rate. Around 11:30 I noticed that a couple of sites on the other side of the camping loop were starting to flood causing the residents to pack up and leave. I started to consider what I’d do if I had to leave and started doing a few travel prep tasks. Shortly after that I received a phone call from the park office indicating that the park was being evacuated. A ranger arrived at my site shortly after that. They were going to escort about ten of us to another Army Corp of Engineers campground in the Lake Seminole Recreation area. I’m not even sure the campground was open before we arrived.

Muddy water backed up waiting to pass under the road in a culvert. The water in the picture is six to eight feet deep.

I set to work at a steady pace packing and getting ready to move. The rain continued to fall at a heavy rate. Even with my raincoat on, I was soon socked through. The contents of my wallet are still drying tonight. I got the inside ready, the bicycle loaded on the car and other things stowed here and there. My gas grill went in the back of my car rather than taking the time to pack it away. Thinking it would be easier and quicker to move the RV separate from the car I arrange to have the ranger bring me back for the car after I moved my RV. While it worked out fine, the car was safe where I left it, I had plenty of time to hook it up safely and move it with the RV. The rangers desire to escort people to the new location was not quick. That was particularly the case once people were out of the low ground and the rain let up.

Water starting to cross the road in another area.

I set up at the new location in dry conditions. The sun was even trying to break through the clouds, My new site is tiny. I had to do a bit of maneuvering to get parked. I don’t know how long I will be here. My stay at the Eastbank campground has been officially terminated and my money refunded online. The though was that it would be more than a week before they determined it safe to reopen the Eastbank campground. I don’t know if I can stay here for my remaining week in this area or if I will need to move on. That’s tomorrow’s problem.

My RV home waiting to be escorted to the high and dry campground. It is well beyond the rushing water and flooding.

Another heavy band of rain fell for about an hour and a half this afternoon. That should be the worst of the storm around here. The center has moved well north. There is always the possibility the system will stall again, but I’m going to be optimistic and say it has moved along.

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