Swept away

“As the truck started to roll, I slid out the window and grabbed onto a tree,” recalls Wayne Hicks, who survived flows nearly three times faster and 12 feet higher than expected during a 500-year storm event. Photos: Johnny Barron

Seven people died while trying to outrun floodwaters using one of Douglas County's roads. A month later, 46 roads were still closed. All have since reopened after the county received $500,000 in grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

On average, Douglas County gets 55 inches of rain annually. But on Sept. 20, 2009, portions of the 200-square-mile county got five months' worth in one day, damaging nearly 200 roads.

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