28 December 2008

Russian River Flood of 199???

From the Citizen Soldier side: At the police dept I work for, some officers really make a big deal about getting some holidays off. Some, who have little kids like Christmas off. Some who like to "party" like New Years eve off.
For me, I think back on some of the missions I had on some holidays. Many holidays I worked as a cop...a few I was over seas in the Army...and one or two I was called up in my old National Guard unit.
Did I mention that I used to be in a Combat Engineer unit? We were like a construction company with machine guns. We had big dump trucks, bull dozers, loaders, chain saws and we could blow shit up if we had to.
Now, a problem I'm having as I get older and closer to retirement is: All the years seem to run together. For something that I might say: "a few years ago..." might have actually been 10 years or so. I didn't write the shit down at the time, so I have to go by memory. But, let me tell you of the Russian River Flood I went to in....uhhhh....I think it was 1998 or maybe 99...or somewhere around that time.
The Russian River run through parts of Sonoma County, CA. It's a great place in the summer, not so great in the winter. There were and are several areas along the R. River where it floods.
Back in the 1980's they had a really big flood and the National Guard was famous for rescuing people with helicopters. For the flood I went to, were were told: "there will be no helicopters, just you guys in your dump trucks to rescue."
Let me tell you about the dump trucks. I first drove one of these beast in the 1989 earthquake. They were old 1968 ish vintage...made for Viet Nam. They had no heaters or A/C. They had 5 speed manual transmissions with high/ low all wheel drive etc. You had to know how to shift these things. The dump beds were operated by a couple of other levers and sometimes someone who didn't know what they were doing would grab one of those levers by mistake and start dumping a load of troops out of the back.
If you road in the back, there were wooden bench seats that were removed for dumping/ hauling jobs. It was like riding on a brick...very hard.
The trucks could go through about 3 feet of water if you did it right.
For this mission, we were given a "Warno" a few days before New Years Eve that our services would be needed. The County and the State was sure that the Russian River was going to flood-- without doubt!
We packed our duffel bags and loaded up like the Beverly Hillbillies and headed from our local companies to our Head Quarters... 579th Combat Engineers.
to be cont.


J said...

"We were like a construction company with machine guns. We had big dump trucks, bull dozers, loaders, chain saws and we could blow shit up if we had to."

Uhhh...Roller Dude...I have to say it...
...that's just hot!!

Ok, so someone didn't dump a load of troops in the flood waters, did they?

Ky Woman said...

You do that on purpose,don't you? Just when I think I'm gonna really really like the story about to unfold before my eyes, I see "to be cont." ARGGHHH!!

Sorry, but my son is joining the Army for the Engineer corp training. So hurry up with the rest of the story.


2SBCT Mom said...

You like leaving us hanging, don't you?..lol. Can't wait for the rest.

BTW, I went back and read that old blog....great stuff.