Rain, floods and floating boats

Construction of the Ark.

Back from a short trip to Indiana; although in the flying world of the 21st century there is no such thing as a short trip.  In Indiana, it was raining; raining every day and as you will have noticed from the news, the wind was blowing.  On Wednesday morning the local news on television was dominated by tornado warnings. It missed that area, but the airport in Cincinnati moved everyone into lower levels as precaution.  Three months ago, I was in the same area and it was covered in snow and frozen solid – in my experience that gives them two seasons frozen and underwater.

Lovely, I had to fly back 2000 miles and wait for 12 hours to see the sun shine.  I did however learn a couple of things, that living in Nevada one tends to miss; first operating a casino on a boat, on a river during the longest and wettest period in the recorded history of the area is not the same as operating a casino in Nevada.  However, there is a similarity with the customers in both places.  Not much bothers a regular casino customer – they go to the casino “come hell or high water.”  Over the course of my career I have seen players continue to play during a fire, a flood and the death of the player next to them, nothing deters them from their chosen course. And as there are very few things in my life to which I have been that committed I sometimes struggle to understand that level of dedication.

Sometimes, events like floods and snow storms are just part of local life and people are just used to ignoring them while maintaining their normal routine.  In Indiana, I went for a run one evening about 6, it had not been raining for awhile, the sky was rather dark and threatening, but it had looked the same all day before, during and after raining, so it seemed safe to run.  After a few minutes it started to rain, so I had to make up my mind whether to continue my run or turn around a find a warm dry place instead.  While I was thinking about it I heard a power lawn mower busily cutting away.  That, I thought, is a good sign, the person operating that mower knows the local conditions and can read the sky – he knows this rain will stop, so he is going to finish his work and that means I should continue my run.

Nearly an hour later, soaked completely as I was finishing my run, I saw another man out mowing lawns.  Like me, he too was soaked – and then I understood; it rains all of the time here and has for weeks, the grass continues to grow.  The people with grass to cut, cut it “rain or shine.”  Much like the casino customers I watched walking leisurely from their cars in the parking lot to the casino in that same rain, no one had an umbrella, no one was running to get out of the rain, if fact no one seemed to even notice the rain.  The riverboat casinos too are used to rains and rising waters and they are prepared for it.  The boats are built to enter at different levels, as the river rises the enterance changes to the higher level.  Not that there are not riverboat casinos closed by the floods, there are; 10 are currently closed, but only one by the operator and the road to it is underwater.  The others were closed by regulators, in Mississippi the state forced 9 riverboat casinos to close because of the high water – otherwise I suspect some of them and their customers would have found a way to carry on carrying on.

The rainfall in Indiana in April is going to be about twice the annual rainfall in Reno. In Nevada that much rain would have produced three or four guys named Noah building arks to save the animals and the rest of the population would have been moved to the tops of mountains waiting for the water to recede. It is all in what you are accustomed to happening and it would seem given a chance we humans can adjust to all most any thing.


1 Response to “Rain, floods and floating boats”

  1. 1 whatisblivit April 29, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Players dying? I’ve heard about the players continuing during fires, but you would think that somebody dying next to you would put a damper on your casino enjoyment…

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April 2011
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