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Here Comes the Water

album: Step by Step (1990), track 4 of 14
author: Chuck Pyle
publisher: Bee 'n' Flower Music BMI

In white man's history there had never been a flood in the Big
Thompson Canyon. But on a cool July evening in 1976, eleven inches of
rain fell in less than an hour and the water rose over thirty feet,
raging down through the canyon destroying everything in its path. That
night I chanced to sit near a couple of highway patrolmen drinking
coffee in a truck stop and they were discussing a fellow trooper who'd
been killed in the flood. It seems Kenneth Purdy'd been told to seek
higher ground but instead had turned his car and raced the water down
the canyon saving dozens of lives before it finally caught him. They
said his last words were, "My car won't move . . .the mud is up to the
windows . . . here comes the water."  This is to Kenneth Purdy
wherever he may be.

Just about sundown the wind got strange
Coming off the prairie like the tide
Spilling down the never Summer Range
Old man wind on a nighttime ride

Fireballs on the telephone wires
Heat lightnin' all over the park
Somewhere in the distance there's a fire
The rains begin. It gets dark.

Three feet of water runnin' the street
Picking up speed, picking up power
There where the two rivers meet
They say it hit fifty miles an hour

Nowhere for the water to go but down
Down the Big Thompson it did roll
Everyone in Estes Park town
Listening heard it on the radio

Patrolman Purdy, Number 213
Racing the canyon like a dash
Warning everybody by the stream
Turned in time to see the splash

"10-33, my car won't move."
Then so everyone could hear
"The mud is up to the windows."
Then with just a trace of fear
He said, "Here comes the water!"

"213, what's your 10-20, over)
213, do you read, do you copy, over?
Clear all channels we have a Mayday condition.
Mayday, what's your location, over.
Do you copy, Mayday, come back?
Mayday, do you read, come back?
Mayday, do you copy, come back?
Mayday, come back! Come back, Mayday!
Mayday, comeback,
Mayday, comeback
Mayday, Mayday, comeback
Mayday, Mayday, comeback
Do you copy, Mayday, over?"

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