Never underestimate natureís ugly side

While the outdoor world is normally a friendly and enjoyable place to be, it can and does turn very unfriendly, much to the discomfort or endangerment of the uninformed or unprepared person(s) caught outdoors when it occurs. In the vast majority of cases, victims of such incidents have no one but themselves to blame.

The flooding of a couple months ago was a good example of nature unleashing its fury on us. The National Weather Service commenced warning those of us in the flood target areas at least two days before the monsoonal rains struck and flooding occurred. I think the vast majority of us never anticipated a flood of record proportions would be the result, but assumed it would be more like the high waters that sometimes occur during the worst late winter or early spring thaws resulting from rapid snow melt and unseasonably warm rains.

Basements, homes and businesses were flooded, bridges were damaged or destroyed, roads were washed away, and lives were lost. Ironically there were actually some who treated the record-high waters like a water theme park - swimming and wading in the contaminated waters, while a few went canoeing or kayaking. Did any of these people give any thought as to what dangerous elements were in the water - bacteria, chemicals, debris, human and animal wastes - or how about encountering an area where high voltage wires made contact with the water? Apparently none of this was considered by them. And then there were the sightseers, who, despite law enforcement closing travel to all but emergency vehicles, drove through flooded road areas to view the damages. In doing things like this, itís a miracle more people werenít hurt or killed.

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