Thursday, March 26, 2009

I've Got the Sump Pump Watch

It's 5 o'clock in the morning and I think my brain is fuzzy. I've been up since 2:30 a.m. for the second night in a row. Ole took the first watch so I could get some sleep as one of us needs to be up to make sure the sump pump doesn't quit until this water goes down a bit more.

All together now, one, two, three - Hip, hip, hooray!! The river has dropped a good six inches!! I'm here with my cheer leading skirt (uffda, that's an ugly thought) and my pompoms leading this cheer. I can't HEAR you - louder, okay? Just maybe, by Sunday, if the current rate of drop continues, we just might be able to drive a vehicle out of here.

And just think - Ole and I have been cooped up together under extremely stressful conditions since last Sunday (I think because I can hardly remember what day it is) and we haven't even yelled at each other. Now I think that's quite an accomplishment, don't you?

We actually had company yesterday!! Actually saw another human being!! Remember I told you in my last post that the Coast Guard had come into the area with air boats. You know, those things they drive around the Everglades to look at the alligators. Well, Ole and I were sitting in the living room drinking coffee and watching the white caps on our now lake front property when we heard this really loud engine. Neither of us could believe that there was actually a big truck going by on the highway as the water was just too deep and besides the road was closed. We went to the kitchen, looked out the window and just outside of our tree line we could make out a couple of guys dressed in orange coasting along over the ice and water. They rounded the north side of our tree line and proceeded on. I said to Ole, "Ole, go get dressed because I bet they're coming in our yard to check on us!" (Neither Ole nor I were dressed yet, still in our jammies figuring we had no place to go.) Sure enough, they rounded the bend and came right up to our house. They scooted that baby right up onto the ice in our front yard, climbed off that puppy and came up to talk to Ole. (By this time he was out in the front yard waiting for them.)

They were Coast Guard folks and were assigned to run the complete length of the river connecting with everyone that was surrounded by water to make sure they were okay or to offer them evacuation if need be. We still had water, electricity and sewer so they said we could stay because by this time the water had started to recede. But there were folks where evacuation was mandatory because they didn't want to have to come back at night to take them out. That's one problem - Ole and I both know from experience. Everything seems kind of hunky-dory, or as hunky-dory as it can be in this situation, during the daylight hours. But when it's dark out there and you can't see what's going on, it can get pretty scary. I know - I've spent the last two nights up watching and waiting. And believe me, when that daylight begins to creep up in the eastern sky, well, it's pretty darn welcome.

They scooted right up onto the ice and they were SO handsome, even if I didn't have a clue what they really looked like under all those clothes.

Well, things have gotten pretty hairy around here. As I said previously, we live along the banks of the Buffalo River, which is a tributary of the Red River, which is probably the one ya'll are hearing about in the national news. Yesterday, in an area just a few miles south of Fargo, the air boats rescued 11 families whose homes had gone under when their dikes broke. Believe me, it's no fun being in this water as it's only 35 degrees - barely above freezing. And even if you have rubber boots on to keep your feet dry it doesn't take long for the cold to penetrate.

The city is in a panic due to the fact that the crest prediction has been raised again. They're laying out city-wide evacuation plans "just in case." In 1997 the mighty Red crested at 39.5 feet, which is an awful lot of water. This year's prediction is 41 feet on Saturday and then holding there for about 5 days. That's a long time to hold all that water back. People are getting really tired and worn out and the worst is yet to come.

The rural areas have really been compromised. Roads and bridges washed out, etc., entire small towns infrastructures have failed and have had to be evacuated. It's going to cost a ton of money to fix all of this when the water goes down. The North Dakota side has already been declared a disaster area by Obama, so FEMA will be coming in to help out, but apparently he doesn't think the Minnesota side is as bad. Unfortunately it is, you just don't hear about it much because Fargo is the BIG city where the population center is. Us little "peons" on the Minnesota side will just have to fend for ourselves I guess. Our senators are too concerned about whatever happens to be going on in Minneapolis/St. Paul to give a rat's you-know-what about the outlying areas. Gov. Pawlenty finally managed to visit Moorhead a few days ago so he could get a photo-op and after a half hour visit flew off again. Oh well, so goes politics on all levels I guess.

Since Ole and I can't get out of here to take any pictures other than our own yard, I've pulled a couple from our local newspaper just to give you an idea of what's going on. This one came from just outside a small town about 6 miles from where we live. That's the highway that goes by our house. As of this morning - or during the night some time a section of it has been washed away.

The one below is from the development where 11 families were evacuated last night. Sad, isn't it.

Here's a little video I took yesterday when the Coast Guard came to visit. I didn't have my camera quite ready to video their arrival, so had to capture their departure instead. Aren't they handsome?????

Well, this is Lena, signing off from the Land of Sky Blue Waters (yeah, right). I have to go do something else to keep myself from falling asleep. Maybe I'll bake some cookies.

Talk to you next time!


Carolyn said...

What a nightmare! Keep safe. You're all in my prayers.

Memaw's memories said...

I hope you guys stay dry and continue to have power. Having just gone through the ice storm of 2009, I have a lot of empathy for you.

Marge said...

I'm so glad those handsome fellows checked on you and Ole. Must be funny to see a boat coming up your driveway! And glad your Buffalo River is going down. I keep hearing about the Red cresting above the 97 levels. It's shameful that Pawlenty seems so uninterested in you! As far as I'm concerned, you can have everyone who is in St Paul! Wish we could totally start over with a clean slate!

Hugs and prayers dear friend! Keep up your sense of humor!

Paula said...

OMG...I've seen flood waters before but nothing like what you are experiencing. You have the most fascinating stories...albeit, I'll beg you wish you didn't have this one. You and Ole keep each other warm and dry...I'll be thinking about you.

Calthea said...

I am glad you are drying out and staying safe. I am waiting to hear if we have to leave (even though we are at a very high point in Moorhead). Stay safe and dry.

Anonymous said...

I know I don't comment often (because Blogger's comments HATE ME), but I am reading. OMG, am I reading. My heart goes out to you guys, and I'm praying the water levels drop soon.