Exodus of the Clans 2008

From AmtWiki

Exodus of the Clans

The Exodus of the Clans is the event that marked the end of Clan 2008 with the flooding and subsequent evacuation of the Bonito Lake Campground. Although none of the attendees of the event were killed, there were significant financial and material losses as a result of the flood waters.


"The gully flood waters the morning after"


Personal accounts

"I was woken up at around 4:30 AM by Glenalth pounding on my tent(I had been camping on the small grassy hill right above wheel camp). He was yelling 'Lurker, Lurker, Lurker, we need to leave, we're being evacuated!' When I asked why, he told me 'There's a big river that wasn't there before!'

Minutes later, I was up and about, and found the river that had appeared 10 feet or so away from my camp. Search&Rescue was there already, but they had told us to stay where we were and not do anything, because we would have to wait until morning so we could find a place to cross. I sat there for close to two hours doing nothing, because they didn't want us to try and escape, even though the Green Dragons had already done so. What S&R had failed to tell us, was that we were soon to be trapped onsite because of a collapsed flood bridge and on the wrong side of a rapidly flowing death river that wasn't there before. Eventually, we got the idea to pack up things, and have Glenalth throw them across the river to Marcil, who would load them in the trucks for people.

A little before 7 AM, Glorious, Glen, and Clalibus came by and informed us that if we didn't escape soon, we'd be trapped there because the exit from the campgrounds was collapsing. The idea soon became to use the narrow spots up by Green Dragon camp to cross the river by using a rope. We eventually got everyone across, but the water was above waist-high there, and it was difficult. The whole time Search&Rescue did nothing to help, and we had to be saved by Amtgarders. It was a tremendous relief to get out of there." -Lurker

"It was about 3 or 4 in the morning when Giri woke me up in a panic. She heard rustling coming from outside (it was raining fairly hard) and thought it was a bear in the pavilion or just kind of windy. But then she noticed that the tent was a bit sloshy and that the noise really didn't sound like wind. I unzipped the door to see what was going on and while doing so the tent started to collapse. The tarps we put up over our tent were tearing themselves out of the ground. Then we saw the RIVER of water running below us. At that time the tarps flew off, the supply tent 2 feet in front of us broke free and a wall of water came at us, lifting the tent up. We were sleeping on a large air mattress which quickly became a raft. Giri and I held on to the bed as we passed Kurse and Verana's tent. They too were frantically trying to get out of their tent, but I'll get to that in a minute. Giri tells me to grab a pole arm that was floating by in attempt to steer/slow us down. The small creek by the Archon site (which was also below water) had turned into a FAST moving river. We eventually managed to stop our "raft". After testing the water we get out and see that we had floated/hauled ass down past gate. In nothing but our skivvies we headed for the road to get to the warmth of the truck and to check on Kurse and Verana. Luckily they had left the baby at Kurse's sisters house the day before. Kurse had to bite and tear his way out of his tent as he couldn't find the zipper in the twisted mess of a tent. The two of them manage to get out safely. Verana met up with Artemis and Courtney who were luckily sleeping in their truck while Kurse went looking for us. We met up in the road and headed back to camp.

After finding us Kurse went back to check on Clouder, Lance, Tempest, and Caus who were stranded on the higher grounds of [[Esydra] camp. The river of water was exceptionally deep and swift and there was no way they could safely cross it on their own. They were stuck in the cold rain, with no shelter for about 3 hours, until an Amtgarder who chooses to remain anonymous, rescued the 4 of them by himslef with a piece of rope. The "cops" never once got out of their cars. They made sure they stayed warm in their cars, smoking their ciggs. None of them offered us any clothing or any real assistance whatsoever. Being a paramedic, I find this appalling that a so called public servant wouldn't even attempt to help. I told them I was a paramedic and they wouldn't even help me out by giving me a jacket and a rope to even try to help save them. Finally we see the boys walking towards us and get them into the trucks to warm up.

All of us are safe with minor cuts/bruises, but 99.5% of what we owned is gone. F***ing gone." -Vinall

"It had been raining on and off since about Friday night. I kept thinking that it would stop, but only because it was Clan. It rains at Clan all the time. Anyway, I woke up Saturday morning and rolled into a puddle of ice-cold water. My garb and supply tent were soaked, so with Mezcantito, Mokushi and Yomi in tow we went into town to find a laundromat. We get back to find people packing up and leaving. Yomi and I decided to see if Francis had decided to leave. If he was packing it was time to go. Well, sure enough, he was. But since the CoM meeting was still going on, I wanted to see Randall knighted so we decided to stay. We were up where DW was camped, and someone had their iPhone out to check the weather. All I hear a minute later is "S***." We all crowd around him to see the storm moving up the mountains towards us. Yeah, it was time to go. Luckily we made it to Cruces safely, even though we drove through the monster. I get a phone call from Cassandrah telling me that Clan had flooded, and spent the morning making sure everyone was ok. All I can say is thank you for amtgarders. We really do take care of our own." -Raven

"We were told we must evacuate about 4:30 am Sunday when the ravine went flash flood but we could pack up. The rangers would not let our guys mount a rescue mission to retrieve Glenalth, Randall and Azrael Jade and others who were trapped on the other side. A while later the rangers came back and told us the bridge was going, get out NOW. Gear was left.

The rangers told the folks on the other side to stay there, they were safer over there, in the tents. Heh.

To relieve fears, they all got out but that is their story to tell.

Dennys in Ruidoso was not terribly amused to be invaded by dozens of bedraggled Amtgarders seeking coffee, food and functioning restrooms. We got two of the three - bathrooms were out of service.

Azrael Jade has very cute pajamas." -Emer

My rambling story of Sunday morning at Clan 26.

To start, I hate mornings and I have difficulty sleeping in a tent while it is raining (tent on left in photo above). Every 10-30 minutes or so I would be startled awake by the noise and flip on my flashlight to make sure the tent wasn't leaking onto my sleeping bag and mat. This is pretty much how my evening went since I went to bed sometime after midnight.

Around 4:00AM I woke up and the rain sounded incredibly loud, but far away. There was also an occasional sound that reminded me of firewood logs being stacked. I decided to investigate so I opened the side window of my tent and shined my flashlight out to discover the wonderful new river separating Wheel camp from the rest of the site. The noise was a combination of the river itself and rocks and branches hitting the tree in the middle of the water. I dressed in the only dry clothes I had left to investigate. A quick check with the flashlight showed that the water was receding a bit. I stopped by Phocion's tent (tent on right in photo above) to let him know there was a new river 6 feet from his tent since his was the most likely to be swept away if the water level rose. I put some markers in the water to help keep track of the water level.

At this time I became aware of a whistling noise and flashlight up the hill above where Esydra camp was. I walked over to find out what was going on and found four folks cold and wet waiting for rescue as the water that was just passing by our camp came straight through theirs. I went back to my tent and grabbed my hat, mantle, and only dry blanket I had left to help keep them warm while they waited.

I headed back to Wheel camp and then flashing lights and sirens started appearing in the main camping area. Someone with a flashlight came to the other side of our new river and after a short conversation, yelling at each other over the noise, I was informed that the site was being evacuated. Woke up Lurker, Randall, Azrael-Jade, and Phocion to let them know what was going on. After a short time someone showed up at the river again and asked if anyone was hurt and we were told to stay put and wait for the rescue team. They also asked if we had food and water several times. Every so often someone would walk up and tell us to stay put and wait for the rescue team and then ask if we had food and water again. I'm not sure if it was the same person from before because it was dark and hard to hear.

At dawn we checked out the other campsites on our side to see what was going on and found that our neighbours tents were either washed away or buried in dirt from the water rushing through. Since we were now just stuck on the other side of the river and would likely have to leave equipment on the other side if we were rescued, we started packing our gear for later retrieval. While we were packing, Marcil showed up on the other side of the river so I started throwing gear across the water to him to pack in the truck we came in. Right after I threw the last of our gear across Glorious, Glen, and Clalibus showed up and let us know that the reason the site was being evacuated was because the bridge was going out and that we were likely to be left there until the bridge was fixed. Phocion helped me finish bagging up my wet tent and I threw it over to Marcil. Glorious and Glen were pulling a rope taught that was tied to a tree at a narrow area they had found upstream so we could get across, it was only one large step across for me but it was very deep and fast moving at that point so it would not have been a fun place to fall. We crammed the last of the stuff we had packed up into the truck and onto Marcil's and Lurker's laps in the back seat.

Once we got to the bridge over the actual river, it was underwater and forest personnel were guiding trucks across one by one. They were pointing out the bad spots to drivers and doing traffic control for all of the logs that were flowing down the river. We waited our turn, then waited for a log to pass by before we got through.

However much fun it would have been to stay at Clan waiting for rescue, I'm much happier that Glorious and Glen got us across the water.

- Glenalth

From the CoM Meeting