Author Topic: I-40 detour advice (and my absence from the board)  (Read 4841 times)

Offline Sean

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I-40 detour advice (and my absence from the board)
« on: May 07, 2011, 12:14:26 PM »
Greetings all.

There are more details on our blog (http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com), but the short version of the story here is that Louise is driving the bus from California to the Mississippi, probably near Memphis, to be in position for any Red Cross disaster relief operations that might launch there due to the imminent flooding in that region.  She is on a fairly tight schedule and was near Flagstaff, Arizona when she checked in about half an hour ago.

We know that I-40 is closed through part of Arkansas due to flooding at the White River bridge.  I am in touch with other Red Cross volunteers who are staffing the relief operation in that state and they tell me the bridge will likely be closed for the foreseeable future, and will certainly be closed by the time she reaches it.  We are looking at detours accessible to the bus, and I am thinking that the route may be shorter or faster if she detours earlier rather than waiting to reach the "official" detours of some 120 miles or so.

I have good mapping and routing software to direct her around the closed bridge, but I lack the local knowledge to know just which routes through Arkansas are still open.  Therefore I am asking here if anyone with actual knowledge of the situation can provide some advice or assistance.  I will feed that into my routing here and forward the results to her on the road.

In case you are wondering where I am in all of this, or why I have not been posting here in the last ten days, while we were still in California I was deployed on an emergency basis to the massive tornado relief operation here in Alabama.  This is the largest natural disaster and relief operation in the U.S. since Hurricane Katrina, with 6,000 homes completely destroyed and another 5,000 uninhabitable due to major damage.  My team and I have been working 16+ hour days since we arrived; yesterday was our first "break" where we put in a mere 12 hours.  As you might imagine I have had no time to check the board or even non-urgent personal emails, and I have already alerted the editors that my column for next month may have to be skipped.  I hope to catch up sometime next week when we are "over the hump."

Consequently I will also be unable to chit-chat even in this thread, but I will check in periodically to get the results, or feel free also to email me any suggestions or information.  Please understand if I do not respond to each one.

In case you are wondering, Louise does have someone traveling with her, a personal friend of ours from the motorcycling community.  She is doing all of the driving and bus-related tasks, but we felt it best to have at least another set of hands with her in case anything goes wrong.  So far the Internet satellite dish and the LP system have both failed; she'll be picking up an aircard to work around the first problem (normally my cell phone serves as our backup Internet access, but, of course, that's with me here in Alabama), and it looks like the microwave will be the workaround for the second.  As luck would have it, our Sunpentown induction hob, which is the backup for the LP stove, had already crapped out before I even left California, and it was still on my "fix-it" list when I boarded the airplane.

Thanks, everyone, for your support.  Oh, and if you are wondering what the Red Cross needs to help the victims of these disasters, the answer is: money.  Please give generously to your local chapter, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the disaster relief fund.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
Our blog: http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com

Offline fe2_o3

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Re: I-40 detour advice (and my absence from the board)
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2011, 04:00:39 PM »
Bump
Sofar Sogood
1953-4104
KB7LJR
Everett, WA.

Offline David Anderson

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Re: I-40 detour advice (and my absence from the board)
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2011, 06:06:51 PM »
Sean,  I found this.  Maybe it will help.

David

http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=73699

Offline jackhartjr

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Re: I-40 detour advice (and my absence from the board)
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2011, 06:22:26 PM »
Sean, I would get Louis to Amirallo, TX, take US 287 to Dallas, TX, take I-20 to Jackson, MS, then I-55 to the Memphis are.  A pain in the you know what, however anywhere near the flooding or detours will wear her out! US 287 is not a bad road at all.
Tell her good luck from all of us...and thanks for what you both do!
Jack
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Offline robertglines1

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Re: I-40 detour advice (and my absence from the board)
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2011, 06:47:51 PM »
parts of Memphis are flooded and getting deeper
Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana

Offline Busted Knuckle

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Re: I-40 detour advice (and my absence from the board)
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2011, 10:57:40 AM »
Could take I-44 out of OKC to Springfield, MO to US 60 to US 63 to I-55 into Memphis! (most likely the way I'd do it!)
;D  BK  ;D
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Offline Sean

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Re: I-40 detour advice (and my absence from the board)
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2011, 02:01:40 PM »
Quick update -- looks like she might be heading to Jackson MS via Vicksburg.  Might be too late for Memphis.

Thanks.

-Sean
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Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
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Offline Skykingrob

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Re: I-40 detour advice (and my absence from the board)
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2011, 06:46:52 PM »
Sean
I know you said she was headed south but this is an option that I know is available as friends just came back this way from Memphis and the roads are all high enough to still make the trip feasible when she gets close to the route. Stay on I-40 to OKC, then take I-44 through Tulsa, Springfield, MO to St. Louis, around south St. Louis on 225 to 270 cross the Mississippi then pick up I-55 south to Memphis.
Though BK knows his routes, highway 60 and 63 are both closed in east Missouri all the way to Paducka KY so you cannot cross the Mississippi there.
Good Luck

Rob
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artvonne

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Re: I-40 detour advice (and my absence from the board)
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2011, 10:01:51 PM »


  AAA motor club, as well as states highway conditions numbers or state patrol, you should be able to get good guidance. Anything else is likely a guess.

 

Offline desi arnaz

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Re: I-40 detour advice (and my absence from the board)
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2011, 05:03:00 AM »
OK, i know i am not the brightest bulb on the rack but if the Mississippi flows into the ocean why cant they just open the gates a little more and drain it a bit? it just sounds to easy to me but i had to ask.
thomas f  Bethlehem n.h

Offline JackConrad

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Re: I-40 detour advice (and my absence from the board)
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2011, 05:07:10 AM »
OK, i know i am not the brightest bulb on the rack but if the Mississippi flows into the ocean why cant they just open the gates a little more and drain it a bit? it just sounds to easy to me but i had to ask.

I think the problem is that the Mississippi river has very little gradient, so the water does not not flow as fast as it would if the river was "steep" (think of a mountain steam).  More water is flowing into the river than the river can quickly move downstream.  Jack
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Offline robertglines1

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Re: I-40 detour advice (and my absence from the board)
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2011, 05:55:58 AM »
Here at Evansville Ind on the Ohio approx 1000 miles from the gulf the river at pool is 316 ft above sea level. we are just at river crest now at approx 347 ft. just below us the tennesse and cumberland and walbash join the ohio  which flow into the mississippi.  above memphis.  water has been flowing over most dams for weeks.   fwiw   Bob  I know it's off topic
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Offline zimtok

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Re: I-40 detour advice (and my absence from the board)
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2011, 07:39:58 AM »
The last I heard I-40 is only closed on the westbound side, the eastbound traffic is running smoothly.

The westbound detour takes you through small towns and is reported to add 2hrs to your travel time.


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Offline Sean

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Re: I-40 detour advice (and my absence from the board)
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2011, 02:05:55 PM »
She is definitely heading to Jackson, MS.  Hoping to make Vicksburg before the flooding there closes the road.  Route is US287 -> US380 -> US69 -> I-20, I-20 across the Mississippi at Vicksburg, then all the way to Jackson.  She should be making the turn from 287 onto 380 right about as I am typing.

Anyone know if there are any issues on those routes?  Once she crosses the river she should be in the clear.

BTW, to answer the previous question:  The Mississippi has flooded its banks for centuries, from long before the COE built levees and dams.  Even if you open every gate on every flood control structure, the river will still flood under these kinds of conditions.  Periodically, mother nature has to remind us that man is not in charge.

-Sean
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Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
Our blog: http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com

artvonne

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Re: I-40 detour advice (and my absence from the board)
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2011, 08:22:49 PM »
  Periodically, mother nature has to remind us that man is not in charge.

-Sean

  And periodically, God has to remind Man that mother nature isnt in charge either.