The Flood of '16

posted Sep 24, 2016, 5:42 PM by David Hakan
"The river will not wait for you or me."
As floods go the flooding of the Walnut River at the Festival Fairgrounds was not so bad. Yes some campers lost vehicles and trailers, but there were no fatalities. The Walnut Valley Festival was able to get cleaned up and open as usual right on time. It did hurt attendance, but not that much. It just made things Much Harder. 
Our Stage 11 crew was really prepared for set up this year and worked hard to get our corner of the Pecan Grove turned into a stage and green room on Thursday. Spirits were high. Dave and I had our own power so we were enjoying the new A/C unit on his trailer to beat the heat. The work went well with many hands. Brian brought two meals of Jack Stack BBQ to feed us. 
Then the storm came in Thursday night. Most woke up with the high winds and thunder and torrential rain. Upstream from the Fairgrounds was even worse. 
Friday, word came around that there was so much rain upstream that the Walnut River would rise all day and spill into the camping areas on both sides of the Fairgrounds. EVERYONE was told to evacuate.
We all looked at the 10 hours of work to get Stage 11 set up and sighed. Then we tore down and packed it all up to move to the south side of the Winfield City Lake. 

When we finally headed out, the water was getting really high very fast. We looked around and most all the other campers were long gone. So we headed for the Lake. 
The scene there was crazy. In a spot built for 20 trailers, about 700 rigs tried to set up as best they could. But we got Stage 11 set up by dinner time. 
There was one bathroom, no porta potties, no electricity for most campers, and no ice. We were a 20 minute highway drive from the town and Fairgrounds. 
Then the Friday storm came in. High winds and more torrential rain. 
David Hakan,
Sep 24, 2016, 5:43 PM