Rex and Yvonne Ewing’s mountain home sits on a hill in Buckhorn Canyon, a fact that allowed it to survive the flood waters that surrounded them.
“We have solar and wind power, enough food to last a couple of weeks, and our backpacks are ready should we need to leave,” Yvonne said a couple of days before the rains quit. By then she knew the road had washed out in two places between their home and Masonville, and that there were additional washouts above them creating several “islands” that trapped people in the canyon have given numbered according to their location. Ewings are part of a group of 20 to 25 people dubbed Island 1. No one knew the exact number of washouts, knowledge that may not be clear until the water level goes down.
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Rex described his experience with the flooding during the early days. “It was certainly nice to have rain following a 6-week dry spell, but after the first 7 inches or so, with more heavy rains on the way, it became apparent that the mountains were in trouble. This feeling really hit home when we hiked down to Fish Creek on Thursday morning, Sept. 12, to find that our little creek was a raging torrent 30-feet wide.
“No one is complaining of the inconveniences. We’re stranded on our island with some wonderfully resourceful, positive-thinking folks, with plenty more in town ready to help.
“Despite what the authorities continue to proclaim about our dire conditions, and no roadwork in the near future, we are optimistic that a solution to repairing the two washouts between here and Masonville will be found, once things settle down. Then our 50-plus neighbors can get on with their lives.”
Rex’s attitude reflects that of many of the mountain people who find themselves stranded by washed out roads. Self-sufficient, independent and not easily persuaded to abandon their homes and animals, these hardy people are making every effort to help themselves and each other to get through the second whammy laid upon them by Mother Nature in the last 18 months.