Saturday, July 3, 2010

Real Life Survival - Staying Above the Water Line! - Part Three

It seemed as though the water was rising almost as fast as his adrenaline levels. He had some major problems now and needed to concentrate on his options. The first step was to analyze the main components that composed his current threat. His major goal had suddenly changed. Being stuck on a bridge had changed his immediate perspective. He realized his major goal was now going to be focused on getting off that bridge as soon as possible. During a disaster or in a crisis situation, it is important to realize that many things will change quickly and suddenly.

It had been almost thirty minutes since traffic had stopped and there was no real clue as to what had brought everyone to a screeching halt. He stood silently in the rain. He was hoping there wouldn’t be much longer before he could get moving once again or he would have to abandon any plans for getting home this day. He was burning daylight and time was running out. He silently laughed to himself as he thought about that saying. With all the clouds, there wasn’t a whole lot of daylight anywhere right now. He needed information about what was happening and he needed it now. Locking his truck, he set off on foot towards the end of the bridge.

Now stupidity can be a very dangerous thing. Although it causes the most problems for the person doing something stupid, it can also lead to problems for others through no fault of their own. He now knew this was the case. Apparently, the driver who had just sped past in the driving rain had lost control of his car as he left the bridge. Talk about the mess caused by the irresponsible driver was now filtering back to his area. Maybe the driver didn’t know that it is extremely easy to lose control when the highway is wet or the road surface changes, such as when you cross a bridge. After that, you’ll be hydroplaning with little or no control. Life can be pretty hard sometimes but it can be a lot harder if you do something stupid.

It seems everyone was waiting for the cops and an ambulance. He hoped nobody was seriously injured but this wasn’t a delay he wanted. Emergency services were going to have to use the shoulder of the highway to get there. That would take time and it was the one thing he didn’t have any to spare at the moment. The main lanes were already full of cars that weren’t moving and had no place to go. The rain was also starting to fall just a little bit harder. More rain meant more water. The last thing anybody needed now was more rain.

The foolhardy driver had spun around on the wet highway and then was struck by another vehicle. After being struck by the other vehicle, his car had rolled down the embankment and wound up on the service road. He could see the flashing lights of the ambulance as it was pulling up to it. At least he was going to get some help; hopefully it had arrived in time. But what was holding up traffic now? Then he saw it! The telltale signs of a busted radiator were now visible. Steam was rising from the hood of a vehicle up ahead. The vehicle that had struck the car of guy who was speeding in the rain was now disabled and turned at an angle. It was blocking both lanes. Fortunately, the driver who looked shook up did not appear to be seriously injured. It had now become a waiting game. He knew the wait for emergency services to arrive was going to be a long one. During abnormal weather conditions, the response time of emergency services will be even longer due to increased demand for their services.

He had information now. He had to act on his previous plan and spur some action. Standing around and waiting for someone else to do something just wasn’t his style. Someone had to step up and get things going again and he was just the one to do it. He needed to get going and get going now. He couldn’t wait the extra time that might be necessary while people waited for emergency services. Sometimes all people need is a simple solution to their problem and once presented with a viable solution will act on it in a surprisingly efficient manner.

He approached the stranded vehicle and suggested that if several of the guys standing around would help; the car could be moved to the shoulder and the traffic lanes could be cleared. It also made even more sense when he explained his reasoning. If we could get the traffic moving again, emergency services could get there faster and without an untimely delay with the lanes of the highway open. A short time later with a little push and shove, the damaged vehicle was sitting on the shoulder of the road. He waved to the driver with the damaged vehicle as he went past. He had offered him a ride but the guy said he was going to wait for a wrecker. Unlike the driver standing next to his car on the side of the road, he had enough waiting for one day and was glad to be moving towards his destination.

He was moving again and he was still:

Staying above the water line!



YeOldFurt said...

Great!! Keep going.
w/v = yorrin (yor in big trouble, son)

MEB said...

yes, I hate it when you leave off when it is really interesting.

riverwalker said...

To: YeOldFurt

It gets a more interesting(and dangerous) as the day progresses...

Have a happy 4TH!



riverwalker said...


Just trying to keep it interesting...a little suspense is a good thing (after it's over).

Thanks MEB.


Groundhog said...

I like how you're dramatizing the events. I guess though it's a bit like watching a movie about something you know a lot about in real life. The only thoughts going through my head when you described the accident was "typical San Antonio driver...". You know as well as I do that scenario happens around here when we get even the lightest sprinkle! :)

Got to admit though it did put you in a rather tight spot that time.

riverwalker said...

To: Groundhog

The traffic on the I-35 corridor running between SA and Austin is pretty intense most any day of the week...the heavy rainfall just made it worse.

What constantly amazes me is how many foolish people still continue to drive around the barricades at low water crossings!

I guess they figure somebody just needed overtime and was out late at night setting up the barricades simply to have something to do.

Thanks Groundhog!


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