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The Ebb

My city has been inundated with water for the last few days, due to excessive snow melt this spring, as well as some pretty fierce storms blasting through our area lately.

Rather disconcerting to come home… and find this waiting for you when you go downstairs to do laundry….


And this, facing the other direction:

Yeah, we tried the “towel against the tide” trick.  It didn’t work, obviously.

My kids and I have been using ShopVacs for 4 days now, almost every 2 hours, to keep the water from taking over the basement.  It’s been fresh water, seeping in from either the storm sewers overflowing due to running over their capacity – or simply ground water with no place to go because the land is so saturated that there have literally been mudslides happening on the prairie here! 

North Dakota is not known for mudslides.   Dust storms?  Yeah.  Tornados?  Un-hunh.  Blizzards, well, of course.  But not mudslides and floods.

And yet, that’s exactly what we’ve been getting for the last few days. 

Our city made national news, as well as some of the other towns here in North Dakota who’ve been fighting the rising waters, and, in some cases, losing the battle.

Many people have been displaced, evacuated from their homes, even lost their homes due to the overwhelming waters. 

And the local populace here, and elsewhere in the state haven’t been very happy with the responses we’ve gotten from the Corps of Engineers.  Many people feel that we’ve been lied to, talked down to, or simply gotten the run-around, because the CoE doesn’t want to “panic” the people.  Well, if they’d simply look around… they’d realize that no one’s really been panicking.

The communities here have banded together, working hard to help their friends, families, and neighbors, hauling furniture and possessions for those who had to evacuate; opening their homes to those in need of a place to sleep; donating their time to sand-bag, and not just for themselves, but for others as well; hauling water out of basements and taking in not just the people, but their animals. 

If the CoE would take a look around at how all of our people have worked to save our own city, and the towns around us?  They’d realize that we’re “Big People”, capable of handling the bad news, pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps, and getting the necessary jobs done to save what we can from the chaos.

And to rebuild – after the tragedy.

As for my house?  Well, the waters are receding – finally.  There was very little in my basement this evening when I got home from work, and it only took about 10-20 minutes to clean it up, where yesterday it took almost an hour and a half of ShopVaccing and dumping just to see bare floor. 

My kids have worked their tails off for the last 4 days, helping me haul furniture, irreplaceable items like photograph books and baby things of theirs, pulling up the few pieces of carpeting that were at the bottom of the steps, and hauling garbage to the boulevard for disposal.  They’ve also run the ShopVacs when I had to go back to work, keeping on top of the stream that was running through our basement.  It hasn’t been an easy week for us.

So, I promised YoungerDaughter and OnlySon that when the waters have ebbed for good, and our basement is dry once more?  We’re going to go do something, just the 3 of us……… something that has nothing to do with water. 

Cause I think we’ve all had enough of that to last us for a good long time.


11 thoughts on “The Ebb

  1. Glad to hear that it’s finally starting to dry out for you. Hopefully your structure won’t be too badly affected? (I’m assuming the walls and floor of your basement are concrete) What a horrible mess to have to deal with but it’s great that the kids are stepping up to help … then again, awesome moms raise awesome kids so that’s not a surprise. 🙂

    Continuing to send happy dry thoughts your way … and you all have a great time doing your non-water activity!

    • Thanks, the kids have been a huge help, and I’m really proud they’re mine. Not sure about the structural just yet… *sigh* There might be, but I’ll have to wait till the water goes down completely to make sure. Don’t know what we’ll do if there is, but I guess we’ll just have to deal with what comes.

      Helluva way to clean my basement, I can tell you that. Didn’t QUITE mean to clean it that way!

    • Thanks, yeah, I’m just hoping that the damage is more cosmetic than structural, but we’ll see once the water is gone. I know that we’ll have to pull all the panelling off the walls, which is fine, since I always hated it anyway. Once everything is dry, we’ll be bleaching, and painting with Kilz to seal the cement, and we’ll see what happens from there.

      We live on a very large hill, so we were never in any real danger from the flood, and for that – I’m extremely grateful. A lot of people lost their homes entirely, but I don’t believe that any lives were lost here, so there are blessings in among the chaos.

  2. I’m glad to hear that you didn’t have it any worse than you did and that you and the kids are okay. It is horrible to have to uproot your home because of flooding, even if it just means a forced cleaning of the basement. {{hugs}}

  3. Glad to hear the water is ebbing! Sounds so unreal for N. Dakota! It’s scary what’s happening around the US and the world with the weather! Feel so badly for all the folks that have lost loved ones, homes, cities! Hope you are all good now and going forward!

    • Thanks, DiAnne, it’s been an interesting summer, that’s for sure. We’ve been lucky up here that there hasn’t been any loss of life in our city yet, and it seems that the city engineers have a handle on the levee system now. The water is going to be high for a while yet, but it seems much more hopeful.

  4. Ugh. It’s still snowing/raining here, but when it finally stops, there’s flooding in our future. I’m glad I live on a hill far away from the river.

    So sorry.

    • Yeah, I hear you. We’ve just gotten the word here that the river’s going back up again. *sigh* I’m just crossing fingers, eyes and toes hoping that the water doesn’t reappear in my basement as well as rising in the river.

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