Summary: A flood is headed to Elwood City. While the children don’t know what to make of it, the adults have a good idea of what’s about to go down…yet even they will be wrong. First story for my new Disasters series. Can also be found here on ff.net.
The children of Elwood City woke up slowly, many of them not remembering the danger. Arthur squinted at the dim light coming through his window. He and Buster made the same mistake, hearing the rain and thinking they’d overslept before school.
But soon kids were reunited in front of the televisions their parents were glued to, watching the circulating reports. In the night, seven inches fell across the city. Creeks were cresting, reaching their banks and entering flood stage. A few roads had been closed downtown due to blocked storm drains, which crews couldn’t clear before it became too dangerous to attempt.
“They sometimes work themselves free,” a man from the DOT (Department of Transportation) told viewers, but the flooded streets were just another reminder for the adults. Jane moved into the kitchen to put together an elaborate breakfast out of nervousness.
Buster was the only exception. Bitzi was at the office covering the flood, writing articles herself or editing the works of others so they could quickly be added to the newspaper’s online feed. No deliveries would be happening today, namely because of the flooded streets, but also because the printing room had an inch of water on the floor. Janitors and a mechanic were working to fix the problem, but Bitzi had seen the streets nearby. One was filling up with water because of a lack of storm drains, a problem news crews were noticing as well.
At the Crosswire mansion, Muffy found her dad and Bailey looking out an upper window towards the creek. Muffy gasped as she found another window to peer out of. She’d never been able to see the creek from the bridge before, let alone from her house. As she watched, she noticed a flash of blue as something floated down the creek-turned-river.
“I think a playground has been hit,” Ed whispered as a flash of red came next. The object bobbed out of the water long enough for Muffy to make out the shape of a slide. Ed nodded, “I knew they built that new one at the tennis courts too close to the creek.”
“You are right, Sir. That park was on the news earlier because of a retaining wall collapse,” Bailey nodded. “That is most certainly the equipment from that park.”
Muffy nodded as a tennis net flashed in the water. She looked up to her father, who finally took notice of her and stepped towards her, “Muffin, I promise you that you’re safe. Nothing is going to happen to you here.”
“But we have a plan in place just in case we need to leave,” Millicent said, entering the room with a steaming cup of coffee in her fingers. She looked out the windows and shook her head, “All of that money wasted because of a failed retaining wall. I just saw the shots on the news. Even the courts are covered and washing away. Yep, there’s a net.”
“Another one,” Muffy muttered, choosing not to look again. She instead looked to her mother, “Where will we go if we have to leave?”
“There are shelters popping up around the city,” Ed replied, turning to his daughter, “but we have something better in mind. A friend of mine has an upstairs office downtown that he’s offered to us. He and his family left town a few days ago.”
“Yes, I noticed,” Millicent scoffed, muttering something about Hawaii under her breath.
“Should I check the retaining wall once again?” Bailey questioned.
Ed shook his head, “No, I believe we’ve done all we can with the wall. I sent the workers home last night and told them that they can best serve me by remaining safe through this disaster.”
Muffy looked out the window, shocked to see an entire plastic jungle gym structure floating up the creek. Her mother shook her head beside her, turning back towards the stairs insisting it was a shame that so much money was wasted on something that didn’t even last a year.