Nevada woman shares her story of ‘the long road home’ Saturday

Marlys Barker Nevada
Journal Editor

Marcia Sampson has never been so happy to get back to Nevada as she was late Saturday night.

Sampson, 43, was in Ankeny when the rain started.

“I left Ankeny at 7. I turned onto the road that said Elkhart, then I turned onto a road that takes you to 210, I am unsure of the road,” she said. She’s also unsure of why she decided to go that way. “It seemed like an O.K. way for the night.”

As she approached the end of the road that connects to Highway 210, she noticed water near the sides of the road. “So I called my husband to see if he had heard if any floods had started on 210,” or any of the other roads she needed to use to get home. “It is hard to communicate when everything is breaking up bad and it’s pouring down rain. So his best answer was to ‘take it slow and you will be fine’.” It’s a famous line for Jason, she said.

Highway 210 was fine at the time and she turned to go north on S-14. “I opened my window a crack or so,” she said. She’s a bus driver and said you learn to do that to have more hearing awareness. She was later glad she had awareness.

She passed 315th and another road, and then she noticed that water was higher and closer to the road ahead. “I was saying to myself, ‘You’re almost home, relax.’” But then she heard rushing water from her left, even before she saw it.

“I stopped my car and listened to where it was coming from, and I opened the window more to see if it was coming from a side yard up on the hill and flowing fast…”

She reversed her car and drove into a driveway. She turned back toward 210.

“But, by the time I made it back down to the bridge area, the water had covered the road and I had to turn around.”

She went onto 315th and headed that way. She noticed a van with its hazard lights on that was turning around. So once again, she reversed course.

“I sat at the stop sign and called my husband. I told him I was stuck on S-14, so he talked me out of my panic mode.

She drove north again on S-14, and turned left when she got to 610th. That was flooded. She turned around. She then turned right on 600th. She saw a small amount of water and went through it. She engaged her GPS, because she was now on country roads she’d never been on. And, she said, “I was all turned around anyway.”

Finally, she made it through the country and back to S-14, past the original flow of water over the road. But, she came to more.

“I go to another road to be met by another motorist who said it was flooded. We decided to try the other way. It is blocked by a truck.”

She and the other motorist finally decide to take a chance on one water covered road. “They go through it and I sit back and watch how deep it is; it’s not very deep, so I go to the left of where the water is less and I fly through it, because it’s been an hour of trying to get home since first being on S-14, and I just want to go home!”

Finally, she reached Highway 30. “I’ve never been so happy to see 30 in my life.”