Saturday, October 10, 2009

Anxious Weather in Coffeyville Kansas!

 Hi all - Dianne here.  No, this is NOT a real-time photo, but it IS a photo from the July 1, 2007 catastrophic flood Coffeyville, Kansas experienced, and it is a photo of exactly where we are currently parked!  I don't want to break any rules, so the link to this photo and others like it can be found at

Also note that any of the photos here in our blog can be made larger for viewing by double-clicking on them, if you want a closer look.  (Except for the small photo below that I can't figure out how to fix)

 The flood was made truly horrendous because the local oil refinery also flooded, and there was an oil slick that ruined over 300 homes in the town, and many businesses.  (If you go to the above link, there are several photos showing just how disastrous this oil slick was).  

 These homes  have since been razed, and the east side of Coffeyville has many empty places where neighborhoods and homes once existed.   Walter Johnson Park, where we are parked for three months, is right in the middle of the area that experienced some of the worst flooding.   If you double click and look closely at the top photo above, in the top left quadrant, you will see a small red roof and a travel trailer.   That trailer would have been parked right across from us.  

Roger wrote about the rain in our last blog.  Let me say that at that time the rain was just beginning!  Like much of the Midwest and Southern Plains, we had steady and/or heavy rain for 26 hours straight!  

 You can imagine that being parked in this flood-prone area, we were just a bit nervous.   We did experience a flood warning for Coffeyville, but it never reached the stage that would have topped the levee.   The Verdigris River in this area is twisty-curvy, and surrounds us on three sides.   


 morning Roger and I walked the dogs on top of the levee and took some photos of the river, which had spilled over its banks at that point, but had not yet reached its crest.  Just the day before, the river looked to us to be about the same size as Fall Creek in Pendleton (for those of you familiar with it) or Sugar Creek at Turkey Run.  

 What prompted me to Google the 2007 Coffeyville flood in the first place, were signs we had seen while walking the dogs around Walter Johnson Park that showed the flood level reached in 2007. 

 If you look closely at the photo I took, you might be able to still make out a faint black band at the top of the water mark on the building.   That's where the oil was floating on the top of the flood water!   

This time, Coffeyville was  on the northern edge of the storm.   Even though we did get about 5 inches of rain, the worst of the flooding was east of us in Missouri and south into Oklahoma.   Coffeyville, Kansas is located 4 miles from the Oklahoma state line, and about 80 miles west of Joplin, Missouri.

This evening we will get our name badges and learn our work shifts at the Amazon Distribution Center.  We are ready to get started in our first Workamping experience! 

   I am glad we are here, and I'm happy to be helping the local economy a little bit (laundry, groceries, etc.), because this town has not fully recovered, even two years later.   

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