Thursday, September 19, 2013

Genealogy and the Colorado Floods September 2013

Being at a genealogy meeting last night the topic of using maps was brought up and a light discussion of why they are important went around the large table of people. Each with their own thoughts, great topic for everyone for input.

What came up was, rivers move, trees die, rocks disappear.  How do you know what you are looking for?  It happened this past week in Colorado more than one creek  or river left it's banks and created a new path in the now torn up land.  Roads were washed away and land marks are no longer there.

Somehow I think floods are more damaging than fire. I am almost terrified of fire. It goes back to an incident when I was 7 1/2 in 2 nd grade and the ranch nearly burned down.

Fire burns and in many ways cleans the land and replenishes the ground and has seeds open that need the heat to get them to pop. Grounds are generally more fertile after a fire. Yellowstone proved this several years back. I still do not like fire out side of a fire pit or fireplace.

Floods seem to reek such habit in the habitat. It pulls trees out by the roots, it takes the foundations away and the roads are gone. The towns are no more. Everything is jumbled and tossed along as it builds momentum, running down the river or swollen creek or sudden flash flood on open ground.

It has such velocity, it can move train cars, trucks, homes, cars, animals and about anything in it's path including good size boulders by it's force.

With 300 people still missing and it's been several days since they started looking my heart is heavy with concern they will be located.  I saw the car the teens were swept out of and swept away.

I saw the roads the vehicles fell into when the water had eroded away the foundations.

So if you are reading an ancestors letter and it said.  The barn was by the windmill, which Grandad built by the creek, on the high side.  Does that mean you will find the foundation there today?  If the house was built down the road by the pond but on the low side of the road or trail would it survive?
Did that river or creek still run the way it did 100 years ago or more?

The entire topography of 15 counties have been affected by this devastation. Maybe even  more.

Then think of Sandy Hook, New Jersey; New Orleans, La; Alabama; Mississippi; and all those areas hit by Tornadoes, Hurricanes or Fires.  The land is not the same the markers are gone. Some of them will rebuild it will never be the same. Earthquakes changed the face of San Fransisco and other areas such as Northridge.  These things have been happening since the beginning of time.

 Land marks in our time frame will have disappeared for many as reference points in the future.
 So if you are looking for the homestead, or the cabin or the hotel, remember to check the history of the area to find out if any of this type of thing occurred there in the past since the ancestor settled there.

Blessings on all the workers and society that are stepping up to help those in such dire need. It truly is a dire need.

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