View From The Ridge

View From The Ridge

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Pismo Beach Flood


 Dateline: Pismo Beach, March 2001

But pray that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath;  Matthew 24:20.      

Or at 4 a.m. on a cold rainy morning!  That’s when our propane alarm went off when the water level reached the floor inside our trailer.  This is the verse that came to my mind when I opened the trailer door to see the entire trailer park under water and still rising.  Jeri & I grabbed a few dry clothes, fished for shoes and waded in our pajamas through waist deep water to our pick-up.  The pick-up started even though there was an inch of water in the cab.  God bless the inventor of diesels!  As we drove out of the park, the water was over the headlights and I was trying to drive slow enough to keep it from coming over the hood and possibly being sucked into the engine. 

We made it out of the park and to a gas station and called 911.  The fire department arrived shortly there after and with surf boards started evacuating those who could not drive their rigs out.  Later they brought in a dump truck and loaded people into it and brought them out,  

Turns out the cause of all of this was the collection of trash, leaves and branches from the state park above us that washed down through the trailer park and backed up against a chain link fence and gate that guarded a large culvert going to a small river that fed into the ocean.   Over the night and early morning it became a very effective dam.

After our friends made it out we went into town to Walmart just as it was opening to pick up some shoes for Jeri.  We were met at the door by one of the greeters who politely told Jeri she could not come in without shoes.  Jeri explained to her we were there to purchase shoes because of the flood.  The greeter apologized and pointed her in the right direction. 

By afternoon, they had cleared the obstruction to where the water was only 18 inches deep and we were able to hook up the trailer and pull it out.  I called our insurance agent about what to do next and he suggested that if we could pull it back to Oregon it would be easier to complete the claim.  My friends and I started checking the brakes and brake lights and everything worked.  I took the truck down to a lube shop and had the transmission and both differentials drained and new oil put in.  We decided to spend the night and head out the next morning.

As I pulled onto the freeway heading north on 101, I noticed a very distinct lack of power from my turbo charged diesel engine and started wondering if water had been sucked in to the turbo charger and damaged it.  I looked in the side view mirror and saw the trailer rocking side to side in slow motion.  It dawned on me that water had wicked up the side walls of the trailer, soaked the insulation in the walls and floor and now the trailer probably weighed two or three times it's original weight.  Water had dripped out of it all night, all day on our way to Reno where we spent the night, continued all the way home and for several days there after.  Insurance totaled the trailer.  

Somewhere along the way I must have angered the water gods.  This vacation will go down as being the Wet One.  After being dunked by a sneaker wave in Tasmania, suffering though two days of rain at Disney land and then 9 inches of rain in two days and a flood at Pismo Beach, it was nice to come back to dry Eastern Oregon. 

Sometimes I wonder why events like this happen in our lives.  Surely it is not just for material for the news letter.  Jeri and I had been praying about getting a new trailer.  I was all for it, but Jeri felt that ours was just fine and we really didn’t need to spend the money on another trailer.  Now that the insurance company has totaled the trailer (water level reached 16” inside the trailer) God has apparently given us His answer.  Personally I would have preferred a note on a flaming arrow saying yes or no, but scripture says “His ways are not man’s way”. 

Is God really concerned whether His children have trailers or boats or ATV’s or snow mobiles?  Does He care whether Jeri sees a Duck billed Platypus in the wild or that we catch the last bus to the botanical gardens?  You bet he cares!  Ask us about these stories and we will tell you some amazing answers to prayer.

God cares for the birds in the air and the lilies of the field and He has the hairs on our head numbered.  (Apparently He has time on his hands to plan adventures for me since he doesn’t have to count very high to keep track of my hairs).  The problem is we don’t take the little things to Him, just the big stuff, and we try to handle the rest ourselves.  Unfortunately, we begin to try and handle more and more on our own and trust him less.

As we approach this Christmas season celebrating the birth of Christ, let us each make a commitment to daily turn over to Christ our lives for Him to use as He would.  Do not be afraid to approach God with even the smallest detail of your life because He does care.  And He does answer prayer;  sometimes in the most unusual ways. 

P.S.  A month later we went up to Lewiston, Idaho, and purchased a 30 ft. fifth wheel trailer.  Unfortunately we  discovered that our current pickup was under powered for that size trailer and we ended up buying a new crew cab turbo charged diesel pick-up.  Problem solved.  

 Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him.  Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.   Mark 11:23,24.

Michael Query, Water Carrier