December 26, 2012 12:09:36 AM

Bonnie Elbaum


I know it's past the deadline for the contest but I thought I'd share anyway. Our family spent 3 1/2 months in China this summer. We traveled to an area outside of Beijing called Fangshan for what was supposed to be a one-night stay and got trapped there after a freak flood brought 18 inches of rain in one night, bursting a dam, washing away cars and buildings, and breaking all bridges out of the region. We were stranded with our 3 small children with no power, cell phone service or running water, and dwindling food supplies and dicey sanitary conditions. We finally ended up leaving our van behind and walking/climbing out with the help of locals, and after an 8-hr journey (transported by various locals and government buses between all the broken bridges) finally made it back to Beijing! I'm not sure if many in the U.S. heard of this flood but it completely devastated the area we were in and we were very lucky to make it through the experience with no harm. This picture shows people walking around the side of a broken bridge to find transportation out of the region on the other side.

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