Monday, April 20, 2009

Water Water Everywhere!
It seems the state of ND is trying to wash away the snow from winter and covering itself in a blanket of water. Up until now, we have been relatively unaffected by the flooding that seems to be inundating the whole state but the last few days have brought it into the forefront of my reality.

The inserted chart from the USGS shows the increase in water into Lake Irvine. For the most part, our land is high and dry and is likely to remain that way, however we do have one planting area that borders some lower parts of town that could be at risk should the water levels continue to rise. our home and classroom, however well protected by higher elevation, could be difficult to reach should the water cover the roads into town. Many of the rural and township roads in the area along the Coulee are already closed. The elevation at the back of our east lot is 1452-53 and the field that borders Lake Irvine, which is already under water, is at 1449. So you can see we didn't pick the best year to erect a high tunnel on that property.

The road to the old bridge east of town is not completely covered and the rural water main flush-out is either covered today (I haven't been down to check it) or will be soon.

It seems surreal to be worrying about flooding when for the last 6 years we've been worrying about how to get enough water onto our crops. Two days ago I told Barry it was like a big toilet and as long as the water continued to flow south like a big toilet flushing the water down stream, I wouldn't worry. I said I would only worry when the flow started coming north again like an overflow in that great white porcelain bowl. Today, my theory is a little different. Water is so unpredictable, it's very nature, fluidity, makes it almost impossible to predict where it will go and when.

I grew up in Minot and lived through two large floods and I know that of all natural disasters flooding is the worst. Most other disasters are over in a matter of minutes. Fires, tornado's, hurricanes, earthquakes; they all come and go in a matter and hours and the rebuilding can begin and you know where you stand. Flooding is different, the time it takes, the mental anguish, all are prolonged as the water slowly rises, sticks around a while, and then hopefully recedes.

Here's hoping the water in Devils Lake and Lake Irvine decides to recede to at least an acceptable level in the not too distant future - I've got tourists to cater to and plants to plant!