I just heard from a friend who is still in the flood battle zone. With permission from her, and with names and numbers and a few lines deleted, I will post her email message below. Though I am on the outside now, she has a very heartfelt inside view of the flooding effort, and describes very pointedly but with grace what it feels like to know your home is in imminent danger.
Wow, how life changes in a hurry.
First off, if our “stuff” is saved, (home), it’ll be by the Grace of God. If it isn’t, we’re fine with that at this point. The girls are safe and happy and that is priority. Truly, as we all know, life is fleeting and God has blessed the Es beyond our wildest dreams. Even as we face this crisis, it is just stuff and we are all healthy. Lots of sore muscles but it’s probably good to get more exercise!
Okay, let me briefly explain what things look like. You all know that my words are pretty straight forward and my adjectives are not as descriptive/flowery as some, so stay with me.
When we built here in 1998, we built above the 1997 flood plane, so, of course, we thought we would never have to face this. Funny how things can change!!
Our home is along the edge of the overland flood waters, so a temporary dike was put up here (hesco.com), called hesco’s that are a real engineering marvel. Our subdivision had to be diked up (approx 4 1/2 miles) in and out and around the cul-de-sacs. No small feat. We put every kid we could find to work, stamping and packing sand in each one of the individual cells of the hesco’s, and the company told us we have the best constructed hescos in town. Then, between our home and KF’s home became the main route for the bobcats and loaders so we have no more lawn, sprinkler system and it looks like our driveway is destroyed by the heavy loads. We found out that we had to raise them up even more, as the crest height was raised, so obviously that was discouraging, but accomplished. We sandbagged in nice weather, freezing sleet, lightning, and a snow storm. Now, today is nice (in the sense that it is sunny but 10 degrees) but there is a possible blizzard on the horizon.
The dikes are labeled with foot markings on our dry side and we peek over the top to see how high it is, it’s creepy but there is still room for about another foot I’d say. This morning the water is frozen, so that is weird, too.
Schools are closed until further notice. Our girls left 2 days ago. Thank you to the families who have taken them. I am not going to individually mention every name, because I’ll forget some, but I hope you know how much we appreciate that, and what you’ve done. Knowing they are safe is critical, and they are having a blast at their new homes.
The outpouring of help from friends and family is so touching, I am changed to the core of my soul as a result of this. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Food, hauling things, chasing around, running errands, prayers, phone calls, I absolutely cannot ever thank you, everyone, for what you have done.
R has been the best friend I could ever have. If you have someone in your life that is as good as he is, you are indeed blessed. He is calm, a strong presence, and wise. Not to mention in full story mode, visiting, and working his arms to the bone.
We have good city leadership, too, and that is gratifying. And, military presence is so welcome. Was a little weird seeing convoys going past my home, but I was so happy.
Our dike wall was blessed by Fr. Kurt and we have a crucifix and an American flag on our wall. Not sure what we’ll do for Mass this weekend, but hope to participate some how. If nothing else we have EWTN to rely on.
It is hard to know how my office is. It is in an area of Moorhead that is diked off and hopefully will be safe. Doubtful, however.
So, here’s what today looks like. Over night, many of the sump pumps/pumps outside froze up (mostly their tubing), even though there is constant watching of them. They are either then pulled out of their pails, brought into heated garages and unthawed, or the tubing is. Then they are replaced. The big thing is, will the barriers hold up until the water gets off of them, or not. They have gigantic (1 ton) sand balloons that if there are breaches they’ll be dropped on those sites. That’s good because obviously that’ll help, on the flip side the huge water wave that’ll result can flood a home, too. Also, on 32nd street, which is the n/s road that you turn off of, to get into our drive will be diked today, essentially walling us in. We will then be on the wet side of the dike. Our subdivision will then be sacrificed to maintain dryness, get this, all the way up to NDSU because of the water flow patterns. Now, my head tells me this is the right decision, my heart says, please no. So, if we can keep our little area intact we’ll be okay. Also, there is no wind today, so no wave action, which also wears against the dike walls.
Again, thank you, so much, EVERYONE, for what you have all done. The outpouring of support leaves both R and myself speechless, and that’s hard to do! What will be, will be. Remember, “thy will be done” and we will try to accept that. We are fine, the girls are fine, and we are healthy. We even had some fun by throwing beach balls, a toy boat and some rubber ducks over the dike and off they went in the current. We have had many “Lord of the Rings” flashbacks, and the girls say the orks are at bay. R is like Aragon, rallying the troops. Remember, “the day of men may end some time, but today is not that day”!!!
The clean up, of course, will be a mess, but I will have a clean house in the long run!!
I don’t endorse CNN, but they have had nice coverage, and it seems to be accurate, which is more important.
Where we are at, the Wild Rice River is more important to us, and the Red River is of secondary importance. It’s overland water that will get us more than anything.
I can’t think of anything else at this point. Thank you, again, for everything that everyone has done, and we will probably not know the whole extent of that maybe ever, so thank you again.
God Bless, one and all, and we can never thank you, enough, or ever pay you back for all that you have done. May the peace of God be with all of us, and Shalom remain in your hearts.
We are eternally grateful, M and the rest of the Es.