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Flood Warning

De
64 pages
Tom loves running through cow fields with his best friend, Peggy, and his dog, Amos – especially when he's pretending to be his favorite radio hero, the Lone Ranger. But when Tom learns the nearby Fraser River is about to flood, he may have to become a real-life hero and help save his family's herd of dairy cows. This story is based on real events that happened in the farming community of Agassiz during the Fraser River flood of 1948.
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Text copyright ©2012Jaqueline Pearce Illustrations copyright ©2012Leanne Franson All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Pearce, Jacqueline,1962Flood warning [electronic resource] / Jacqueline Pearce ; illustrations by Leanne Franson.
(Orca echoes) Electronic monograph inpdfformat. Issued also in print format. isbn 9781459800694
1. FloodsBritish ColumbiaFraser River ValleyJuvenile fiction. 2. Fraser River Valley (B.C.)HistoryJuvenile fiction. I. Franson, Leanne II. Title. III. Series: Orca echoes (Online) ps8581.e26f56 2012jc813’.6c20119077795
First published in the United States,2012Library of Congress Control Number:2011943722
Summary: The Fraser River is about to flood, so Tom must get his family’s dairy cows to safety before it’s too late. A historical story set in1948, near the farming community of Agassiz.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Orca Book Publishers is dedicated to preserving the environment and has printed this book ® on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council .
Cover artwork and interior illustrations by Leanne Franson Author photo by Danielle Naherniak
orca book publishers poBox5626, Stn. B Victoria,bcCanada v8r 6s4
orca book publishers poBox468 Custer,wa usa 982400468
www.orcabook.com Printed and bound in Canada.
151413124321
Thanks go to my dad, Jack Pearce, and my fatherinlaw, Bill Naherniak (also known asFarmer Bill), who helped with the details of the farm and time period. I would also like to thank the AgassizHarrison Museum and the Chilliwack Museum and Archives. —JP
To all those brave Canadians across this country who courageously deal with floods and their aftermath. —LF
c h aPter on e
tHE r IvER
“Hiho, Silver! Away!” shouted Tom. He was pretending to be the Lone R anger, his favorite radio hero. Amos, Tom’s scruffy black and brown dog, pricked up his ears. Amos seemed to know he was playing the part of Silver, the Lone Ranger’s horse. Boy and dog took off running across the field. D u n t d a  d a l u n t d a  d a l u n t u n t u n , d u n t d a  daluntdadaluntuntun…The show’s opening music played in Tom’s mind. Ever y Sunday evening, Tom and his parents gathered around the big radio in the living room. They listened to the adventures of the Lone Ranger, his fiery horse, Silver, and his
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faithful companion, Tonto. Every week, the heroic masked rider and his daring friend fought for law and order in the Old West. “Wait up! ” called Tom’s friend, Peggy. She ran after Tom and Amos. Her two brown braids flew out behind her. A h, my faithful friend, Tonto, Tom thought as Peggy caught up to him. But he didn’t say it out loud. Peggy always wanted to be the Lone Ranger, not the sidekick. Amos barked loudly. Several brown and white cows trotted out of their way. Tom lifted his face to the warm sun. It was perfect weather for the May long weekend. He wished tomorrow was a holiday too. They reached the wooden fence at the end of the field. Tom and Peggy stopped to catch their breath. Tom lifted a loose board at the bottom of the fence, so A mos could pass under. Then he and Pegg y climbed over. They faced a tangle of low bushes and weedy alder trees.
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“Come on ! ” said Tom. He waved a hand for Peggy to follow him. “We’re almost at the river.” “Okay,” Peggy said. “But this time I’ll lead the way.” She pushed past Tom and ran down a trail through the underbrush. They could hear the sound of the river ahead. Peggy emerged from the trees and stopped in surprise. Tom and Amos almost bumped into her. Usually, there was a wide gravel bank between the trees and the river. But now, the water had crept up over the rocks. It was lapping at a row of sandbags piled at the edge of the trees. “Do you think it’s going to flood?” Peggy asked. “Nah,” Tom said. “If the water gets any higher, the sandbags will stop it.” Each spring, when the snow melted in the mountains, the waters of the Fraser River rose. Two years ago, soldiers back from the Second World War had piled sandbags along the river. The sandbags acted like a dyke, or a low wall, to help keep the water from flooding the farmland.
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“I don’t know,” Peggy said. She pointed to a spot where a section of sandbags had fallen over and left a gap. “Those sandbags don’t look like they could stop much.” She glanced up at the sun, which was getting lower in the sky. “I’ve got to get home to help with milking,” she said. “Me too,” said Tom. There was never a holiday from milking. Reluctantly, Tom turned away from the widening brown river. If there were a flood, what would the Lone Ranger do?
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c h aPter tWo
MILkINg tImE
W hen they got back to Tom’s house, the cows were already shuffling into the barn for milking. Peggy said goodbye and raced down the driveway. Her family’s dairy farm was just across the road. Tom forgot about the river and hurried into the barn. His dad was using a pitchfork to toss hay into the cows’ feed troughs. “ You’re late,” Dad sa id, not look i ng up. He handed Tom the pitchfork. It was Tom’s job to feed the cows. Tom’s mom and dad did the milking. Tom stuck the fork into a hay bale. He pulled out some loose hay and dropped it into the next stall. He finished putting out the hay and made sure the
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