Sunday, June 12, 2011

Minot Floods, 2011

As I left for Minot that Wednesday, I must confess to a little nervousness about what I'd find along the way. One of the two rivers feeding into the Minot floods is the Des Lacs River, which runs right along a good share of my route. I didn't want to get part way there and have to turn around and circle back a different way.

The Des Lacs River is normally such a piddling little river that it scarcely deserves the name. In California, our rivers are business like and on a mission; they are headed to the sea, and ain't nobody gonna stop 'em. This river twists and winds gently through the bottom of the valley, and "river" is a very generous term. It would be more like a creek back home. But not so now! It filled the whole valley, and nary a twist or wind was visible---they were all under water.

I kept on to Minot, seeing some of the flooding in outlying towns on my way. Minot was swarming with activity, and over and through it all was the additional action of National Guard troops and the buzz of Guard helicopters. I went the long way round of course, since my cutoff road was somewhat unavailable.

When I got there, I discovered that the school had decided to hold off on evacuation after all. I must say, I completely understood their reluctance to tackle THAT process if they didn't have to. Indeed, the river had already risen as high as it was going to, though no one knew that at the time. In the chaos, everyone had forgotten I was coming, so it took a little space of time to get Caleb ready, but at last we were on our way.

I stopped just down the road, at the place where I would normally turn, to take some pictures of the flooding. The house-on-stilts, whose owners had made their house able to be raised on jacks in case of flooding, was out of the water, but Caleb said the water had been up to the windows the day before. (if you click on the top picture of the two below, to enlarge the photo, the house shows in the middle towards the left) That was too bad, because the owners had made a valiant stand to save it, but I am sure that the beautiful country farmhouse that sits right next to the river never even had a chance. (In the bottom close-up, it is hidden in that thick clump of trees just past the bridge over troubled waters)

Then we were homeward bound, ready for a few days of being a family again, and in the most normal, ordinary way as possible. And since I normally make my kids work, that is what Caleb got to do. He and Laura were such big helps to me as we hauled the last of the trash in preparation for the big dump haul I'm going to make one of these days (somebody needs to send me a Round Tuit!).

We cleaned out by the barn, the last bastion of trash-hood, and it looked so much better when we were finished. Laura and I had our pictures taken standing in triumph on our trash pile. It has been the work of many weeks, whenever we had a spare minute that wasn't blizzardy, to gather garbage from all over the property. I am SO glad that part is done, though we can look forward now to clearing dead branches, fallen trees, and that sort of thing now.

They also helped prep the laundry room/entry for the transformation I've been working on all this week, which is why I haven't been blogging. I appreciated their help so much, and we got a lot done in those 3 days, but we DIDN'T get my garden in. Oh, well. I always overbook my time anyway and have to learn to accept with charity when my over-ambitious plans don't come to fruition. At least that's what I'm supposed to do---in reality, it's a work in progress. Sort of like my house. Good thing God loves a fixer-upper just as much (and thankfully even more!) than I do.

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