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.

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