If you come to visit us, pay close attention to the black triangular sign you see above. For those of you who aren’t familiar with a slab bridge, there’s one about a half mile from our house. Here’s the definition according to Merriam-Webster:
“a short-span bridge consisting of a reinforced-concrete slab resting on abutments”
From what the neighbors have told us, water covers the slab a few times a year; it’s happened twice since we bought the little farm but we haven’t seen it first-hand yet. Cripple Creek rises fast — really fast — especially when there are heavy rains in Cannon County to the east of us. The water runs through a wide field on the way to our road, and when it’s rolling it carries a lot of debris, including large trees, across the slab. This is a picture of a similar Tennessee bridge that’s been overtopped by heavy rains:
Scary! Our road is paved, but you get the idea. I took these photos the day after a recent slab closing so you can get an idea of how high the water is, even hours later. It’s normally pretty placid here, barely flowing at all.
You can tell from the debris line on the road that the water extends a good 10-15 feet beyond either end of the slab. This view is heading north from our place, on the way to the highway we take to get to civilization. The water flows from right to left — there are huge metal culverts underneath the concrete that you can’t see in this photo.
So, if you come to visit and that black triangular sign has morphed into the orange sign above, DON’T TRY TO CROSS THE BRIDGE! There are multiple signs on both sides of the slab, but be watchful, especially at night, if you’re out our way in rainy weather; it appears the sign-flipping is a voluntary thing that the folks who live closest to the signs are in charge of. If they’re not home when the creek rises, the signs may not get changed. Luckily there are several other only-slightly-less-convenient ways to get to us from the “back” side of our property that don’t entail risking your vehicle or your life. Call us and we’ll give you directions, or googlemap the alternate routes on your smartphone (thankfully, we have great 4G service in our neck of the woods), when the sky looks threatening!