Sunday, June 26, 2011

Minot under water

I have started this post many times over the past couple weeks, but never have enough motivation to finish it. Maybe because I thought if I asked for prayers for Minot, the predictions would really happen. Well, its happened. Minot is now considered a major disaster. It is so sad. This is my town. I may not have grown up here, but I started my family here. I met my husband here, started a family, planted our roots... and now everything I have come to know and love is slowly washing away.

No, I do not live in town. My house will not flood. We live on the base about 10ish miles from the river over north hill. I still get to live in my house comfortably while I watch one of my oldest friend worry about her house (which is hopefully being saved because of the building of the 'Broadway Dike'. She lives two blocks from the river and originally was going to flood out. We are still praying that the dike the city has been working so hard to build will stay strong and hold. People have asked me how it has effected us on base: We have to conserve water (no long showers, no water sprinklers, all pools on base are closed) Obviously, this is totally understandable. The commissary is slowly running out of food. And there is talk that if Minot is 'split in two' they commissary will open their doors to civilians. This is because the river flowers straight through Minot, making a north and south. The north side of town has NO grocery stores, pharmacies, emergency services, doctors, and only one working gas station. Minot has also issued no travel. So that means we are stuck on base. I have been to town twice yesterday just to deliver donated items to the shelters and the national guard for the Airman and Family Readiness Center on base. Traffic is horrible on the only road to get to the south side of town. Minot has never had a traffic jam in the 10 years I have lived here. I wouldn't want to go to town anyhow. They have also closed the mall, to prevent unnecessary traffic, but businesses on the south side are still open.

Some 4,000 homes are to be flooded by the time this is over. Over 10,000 families (out of our 40,000 population) were evacuated yet there are only 250 people in the shelters. Friends have opened their motorhomes, houses, and garages to help out their friends or just complete strangers. Minot truly is a wonderful city. People come together.

We still have 2 feet left to go before we hit our 'crest'. I pray that more water is not released from the dams and that Canada does not get anymore rain. We literally cannot handle more water.

Here is a boat tour of one part of town

You can also go to KX news Minot's FB page here:  You can see all the pictures fans have uploaded. To the left of the page you can click on links to view several different live web cams of the river as well as KX news Minot's live newscast. Take a look at the number of fans: We only have 40,000 people in our city, yet there is over 31,000 fans from all over the country and the world. 

Work being done on the bipass in hopes to save one of the only roads to town.

This is a farm right off the bipass. He has been fighting the flood for a few months, building dikes, sandbagging, and pumping water out. He eventually lost the battle. The blue at the bottom of the photo is a HUGE long 'bladder' filled with water to protect the road. (I was driving as this was snapped, so not a great pic)

My car packed full of items I was transporting down to the MSU Dome where Red Cross has set up a shelter. Thanks to everyone who has donated to the Airman and Family Readiness for this!

National Guard Blackhawk flying over for arial views and security in the flood zones

The view from North hill to the South hill with the valley down below

While trying to get to the MSU dome I ran into this. To the right is a church and the left is Minot State University. I had a hard time getting to the dome because all other obvious routes were blocked. I had a police escort me the rest of the way.

After dropping off items to the dome, I was asked to take more across the valley to south hill. Instead of waiting 45 minutes on the bipass I had a police escort through the middle of town on Broadway. Broadway is closed to allow the trucks to work on the 'broadway dike'. 

This is part of the broadway dike running along side MSU. On the other side of this is water.

A random house on Broadway with 'little' flooding. The dike is behind the house, but there must have been a small leak. This is nothing compared to flooding around Minot.

Building the dike.

On my second trip to donate items to the National Guard I took the bipass and sat for 45 minutes. This is the area that could possible consume water on the road.

KX news is up there interviewing people while they watch their houses go under water.

The National Guard has set up 'home' at a Minot highschool

Sat in this same spot for 20 minutes not moving an inch while I tried to make my way back to the bipass to go home.... 

This is 4 houses from a friends house. It is slowly coming up her street.

Down this road is where some of the major flooding is. 

After a long night of driving I took the best picture to wrap up a horrible day. Minot sunsets are gorgeous!

Here are a few pictures others have shared on facebook. 

24 hrs later and this is what this building looks like:

The top of the picture is a bridge

I wanted to share some pictures of the Black Hawk tour of the flood with you guys. They haven't gotten the video up yet, but this will give you a good idea of how bad and wide spread it is.

An update for today:
~We cannot drink the water. It could be contaminated and they are testing the water. I wish I knew how long this process takes because its been a good 12 hours almost. I really hope the results are positive.

~The river should be cresting at 1561.8 (just one more inch to go apparently till we hit that mark). After that, it should stay around that level for a couple of days, then it will hang around 1560-1561 for at least a week. They cannot predict farther than Thursday.  (Obviously this is not going to help our city)

~ We had a horrible storm rip through our city today. The tornado sirens went off and reports of swirling clouds, funnel clouds, and tornados were reported... however, the national weather service said there was none of that. Better to be safe than sorry though and at least warn people of the possibility. Because we got all this water (as well as people north of the river) the crest could possibly go up.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Kylee!

Can you believe it!? Kylee is 6 years old today. WOW.

Kylee with her new art easel

About to open a present from Daddy

Kylee, her new jewelry box from Korea, and daddy

Singing happy birthday with us

Singing Happy Birthday to Kylee. Right after Wyatt finishes singing to Kylee he says 'I love you Kylee' Too cute!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Flood Fight 2011

Forgive my absence again, but I have been helping the community fight the flood of 2011. I have lived here for 10 years and have NEVER seen the river this high. The last flood was in 1969 where some places in town were 7 feet under water. This flood has been creeping upon the community for the past few weeks.

Tuesday night mandatory evacuations were ordered. Over 10,000 people packed up their homes and headed out. I've never seen so many trucks and trailers in town at once. People raced to protect their home from the fury of the river. Hotels are already booked with the oil workers so temporary shelters were put in place all over town. Military members that are effected found shelter with other members on base, in their motor homes (of motor homes lent out from strangers) or in the alert facility on base.

More water is predicted to come through the river in the next 36 hours. It is now predicted that the dikes will fail tonight.

***Warning: Picture Overload***

This is one of the first signs of the upcoming flood. This is a highway that we take to get from base to the town. Water slowly crept up along the road. A field on either sides of the road. This was taken in the middle of April. The water is from the winter thaw.

 This is a week after the last photo.

 And a week after the last one. The road is completely covered by water. At about this point they started building up the road with gravel, about 1-1/2 feet above the road. Then a week later they added another 1-2 feet of gravel and paved the top of that so we can still get to town. The water is still pretty close to the road now.

 This is the bridge by Oak Park. I've never seen the water this high. Notice no Dikes along the river yet. Look at the next picture after.

Same bridge, almost the exact spot the last picture was taken. Notice the Dikes built around the river. This was taken last week.

The exact same bridge, but taken from the other side of the river. The water has gone over the bridge. The dikes have been built up over my head. Both sides of the bridge have a dike built to keep the water ON the bridge and preventing it coming into the neighborhoods.

 This road takes you to a small town East of ours. The road is now completely covered with water as the river is flowing right over it.

 Stalled car who thought they could make it through the water. Taken last week.

Dikes built on roads. Its hard to make it through the town and find your way to where you need to get. Road closures everywhere!

National Guard patrolling the Dikes

Boy Scout camp completely underwater.

This is the river that runs along side a farm. To the bottom left is a dike that busted. The front of the farm is now the river.

He had a wooden fence somewhere, but now its underwater. This farm has been having flooding issues for the past several weeks. It is so sad and heartbreaking.

Building more dikes along the river. At every corner on N Broadway you see National Guardsman and the dump trucks. One night we saw, literally, 30 dump trucks lined up.

Sandbagging. Monday I went into town to help sandbag.

Monday evening a friend and I went back to sandbag. We worked till almost 2 am

I also had my children, as well as a friends', sandbag with us on Tuesday. I thought it was important for my kids to learn the importance of helping out the community in a time of need. They were hard workers, maybe slow at bagging, but they did well. And they really did have a blast.

Me and the kiddos before leaving the dirt piles.