Man, that last post was today, but it seems like it was a week ago.

Being holed up in a hotel (with Ethan) is something to remember. We have arranged and rearranged pillows and beds and walked outside, upstairs, along the creek, along the road, in the rain, under the awnings, soaked and dried our clothes twice, ventured out while the street was flooding and after the street had flooded, driven through the tornado areas (3/4 mi from hotel) and the flooded areas. About 75% of the stores are closed, restaurants that are open are swamped. We tried and left 3 places before we had dinner at....... the Waffle House. What a day. Forecast is for the rain to have moved out of the area by midnight, local expectations are for the river levels to keep rising until tomorrow morning as the waterways catch up to the tributaries. The streets aren't flooded any longer, and we stayed on the first floor of the hotel.

We did drive by the busforsale lot today a couple of times, and I called our salesman, Mike to see if they needed any help with the project they had at hand. It looked like someone was there working in the lot- a bus was running out back and many of the coaches had been moved right up against the building or to the highway frontage road. He replied that he hadn't been there, and the owner hadn't called him to ask for any help- so he assumed it was all OK- their security guard had given the all clear at 5am this morning. Last night we were not able to get to this lot because the connecting street was closed as the river had jumped its banks- but apparantly it was also flooding the bus lot, next to the river at the same time.

When we arrived today, there were water marks on the tires of one of the Prevost coaches on higher ground- 3/4 way up the tire... Which meant that there were many coaches that had been up to their windows with water as they were situated in lower parts of the lot. Mike (the salesman) had left his car there while using the company car this week- which ended up with water covering the bottom cushion of the seats, bummer. When we were in the shop on Saturday to look at Eleanor, it was the only bus inside the 4 bay shop- everything else suffered some degree of water damage. It's strange to not be participating in the safety/rescue effort for this disaster, fire and ambulance have been running by from their station a half mile away, all day.

Tomorrow, we're still planning on viewing 4 coaches (the KY coach is northwest, out of flood areas), and then trying to make an educated decision about which one for our family, so we can get on the road by Tuesday. I figure if we get rolling by Tuesday at dinner, and we don't have any driving issues, we'll be home in time to get Kelly to the airport for her China trip at 3pm on Friday. The great thing about long road trips, is that the trip from home to DIA will seem like a trip across town to the grocery store.

Here are some shots from today:


Imagine we're looking at 12:00 when we look at this sign. The river is at 9:00 across the highway, the main bus shop is at 1:00, the bus storage yard is from 12:00 to 3:00. When we drove in the driveway, normally 300' from the river, there were fish and crayfish flopping on the soggy asphalt.


Ethan saved as many as he could, and got his shoes, pants and probably underwear soaking wet in 3" of water.



At the 3:00 position, the end of the lot, 3 semi trailers were pushed against a utility trailer, against a school bus as the river swept the ravine at it's lowest point. It looked like the water was probably above the hood of the school bus in this area when it peaked.



A $40,000 bus and a $400,000 bus, both hit equally hard by the water acting as strainers for debris.