It's June 10th and the Missouri River rises each day, some days more dramatically than others. It all depends on the release schedule up river at Gavins Point Dam (and by default all the dams up the Missouri)...the full release of 150,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) I believe is due to be reached on June 15th. I think we're at 140,000 cfs now, maybe more...I can't keep track anymore. The barge and its crew continue to put rock up our banks to protect us....because we are a private development of 30 or so houses, there is no county or state aid and we are completely on our own to protect ourselves. They still have to put rock along the banks of the only road that comes in and out of here...again a private road that the homeowners pay for and maintain. There are moments when I'm relaxed and I feel hopeful that we won't feel this a bit, except the huge outlay of monies, and others when I'm seized by panic, thinking the basement will fill with water. So far, the water table, which seeps through the saturated land to the house, is still about 18 inches or so under the house....but we're also not at the full release of water from the dam, so that level will change some, but hopefully not too much.
Last night I was seized by panic when our neighbor was outside arranging the house for his sump pump to move the water away from his house...it was starting to seep. Granted he has a full basement and is farther in the ground, but still....so this morning I finally called the plumber to come out and make sure everything that needed to be in place was and that we were doing all we could. We're pretty well set up and I was glad to know it was the owner or perhaps the son of the owner and he actually remembers doing the plumbing in our house when we built it 3 1/2 years ago. We have a check valve where we should and our sump pump is in working order....just to make sure we bought a back up, in case the first one conks out. This is all so new to me....I'm from Florida, where there is absolutely no such thing as a basement and the notion of a sump pump would be ridiculous, since you'd probably hit water down only a foot!
Part of what is so disheartening about this event is that these water levels will remain through the summer....so the sump pumps will have to work hard to keep the basements dry, the banks will be so saturated for so long that even with all that rock, they'll be vulnerable. We've heard recommendations that trees within six feet of the banks should be cut down, as they may topple. Almost no one down here wants to, nor thinks we should, cut down 125 foot cottonwoods that are probably older than anyone alive. I always thought they stabilized the banks....only a couple of panic stricken neighbors cut any along their banks. The trees are vital to stabilizing the bank and they soak up huge amounts of water each day. We've been advised to get 30-40 sandbags per house, just to have on hand, in case any breeches show up along our shored up banks. Tomorrow John and our neighbor will go into town to get our sandbags....there are National Guard troops there filling them and making them available to those who need them.
These are strange times, that's all I can say and I'm sure I speak for many who will not wish to relive this summer. With all the rain we've had the mosquitoes and the gnats are fierce, so it's hard to be outside. But, I'm thankful we're high up and I'm hoping we don't have any surprises that will threaten us further. I feel terrible for those who are being flooded, even as I write this, and for those who watch the river take a little more of their land and livelihood each day. I'm sure no one thought they'd go through this, especially because many of us are not in a flood zone....otherwise we'd have had flood insurance in time. We got it last week, but too late....it will be useless in this event, although we didn't know that when we bought it. So....I'll report back soon, although I do have family coming through on Monday, so there may be a gap. No worries though, we're fine, really. What we may experience, nerve wracking as it is, is probably going to be minor compared to many others.
The barge parks next door overnight...
Our last layer of rock almost goes to the top of the bank
where I'm standing
It would be a beautiful evening if you didn't know that river
was engulfing more land day by day
I do fiddle around in the studio some, but am so distracted that it's hard to get anywhere. In case some of you are wondering where the new work in my shop is coming from these days....I'm adding the pieces that went to New Hampshire in February for the small works show....I finally got them back this week!
These two will be added in the next day or so.
Love of Language
In the Moment no.3
So, there you have it...hope you all have a good weekend....one that is worry free, if possible! I want to thank everyone for their concern and support. It's good to have a base of caring folks all over the world....thank you for keeping us in your thoughts!!