My Own Downtown:
What the Flood of 2015 Taught Us
Surely, on Facebook, most of us received a "memory alert" this morning. Comments were exchanged about what took place six years ago today - the Flood of 2015.
On July 6, 2015, business owners and their crews around Elk Street and other areas had been up all night cleaning. A flash flood sneaked upon Wyomingites and travelers on that Monday evening. Smartphones had alerted many cell phone users of the flood but it was an hour too late. Places like Santa Fe Trail restaurant, Renegade Café and Taco Time were surrounded by a muddy lake – even homeowners were panicking in small neighborhoods and mobile home parks. Desert View Elementary School was blocked by deep, muddy water, as well.
No one imagined there would be a Round Two on Tuesday, July 7, 2015.
It was a typical day in Downtown Rock Springs. Tina Angelovic and her staff at A Touch of Class were preparing floral arrangements for special occasions. Customers were waiting for a cold, sweet milkshake at Broadway Burger Station and teenagers were riding bicycles up and down the sidewalk. A local man just bought a new rifle at Trailhead Guns, a housewife walked out of Bello Capelli with a new hairstyle and visitors were taking family pictures around the yellow caboose on South Main Street.
By 3pm, the sky turned dark grey and it started to rain heavily.
In the meantime, all over Downtown, smart phones were sounding off at the same time with a flash flood warning. Locals and visitors weren't sure if it was accurate at first since the alert was an hour late the day before.
Besides what's the chances of having a flood in Downtown?
By 5:28 pm, owners, employees and residents stood in awe as they watched a raging, muddy river take over Broadway Street.
"It looked like a dam had broke," Sales Associate Pearl Martinez said.
From the A Street overpass, locals and visitors could see massive ponds in random spots around North Front Street, South Main and D Street. After the water calmed down, Downtown went to work. No one cared how long it was going to take to clean the horrible mess, they were not going to let this hold them back.
"We were determined to open the very next day," Pearl shared.
Needless to say, there was a great deal of teamwork in Downtown - new friendships were made and neighbors were helping each other out. Some were seen hugging each other and saying, "it will be OK." Community volunteers lent a hand, as well.
It wasn’t an epic catastrophe. No one died during this unexpected event and no one’s home floated away into another county. It was a test of patience, kindness and endurance - we are and always will be DOWNTOWN STRONG!