Saturday, March 28, 2009

Flooding in Grand Forks; Kennedy Bridge

This is the last/only remaining bridge crossing the Red River, going east, from Grand Forks. The two cities (Grand Forks in ND and East Grand Forks in MN) are trying to keep it open (for one thing, the hospital is in Grand Forks). These are NOT great photos, but they show you, as you cross the bridge, the height of the water. . . and it's likely to rise another 4 to 5 feet. The cities are building a clay barrier directly on the bridge, to try to keep it open to 52 feet.

You see the beginnings of the clay barrier here. I don't really understand it; will it be like driving through a tunnel through water? Not surprisingly, the city is now recommending that we just stay off the bridge unless we really need to be on it.

Normally, these trees don't have their trunks in water. Actually, normally, the river starts far beyond (behind) that house on the left.

Flood fighting has a few interesting tools: sandbag "bombs." The Grand Forks Air Force Base is patrolling the river with their predator planes. If their really is a significant breach in the dikes, a sandbag bomb, a container holding 2000 lbs of sand, can be dropped into place! Someone with really, really good aim better be operating this little gadget!

There's also liquid cement. Apparently, if there's a crack in the dike, a cement sealer can be squirted into the holes, and will cure even in water. That would be handy!

If it gets grim, we're suppose to plug all drains with drain plugs. I'm opting NOT to pull off our toilet and do this unless we really are at risk in Grand Forks.

In Winnepeg (about 120 miles north of Grand Forks, the unfortunate next stop in this liquid hot potato), they're using inflatable dikes. These are large rubber structures that can be inflated within a few hours, even filled with cement for more permanent structures, and used to block the advances of the water.

And then, of course, there's good, old dynamite, every guy's dream tool! Cities around here have been using dynamite to blow up ice jams in the river to keep the ice from blocking the river, damning it, and causing it to overflow its banks/dikes.

Even though we're in a bit of a pause right now, as things freeze up again. However, just north of us, about 12 miles, little Manvel, ND is today losing homes to the flood fight. Friends, really, really consider flood insurance, no matter where you live! Just check out the policy options; these are the kinds of policies that make so much more sense than the crazy "warranty" that Office Max tried to sell me a while back on an $11 paper punch!

All prayers for the people threatened by flood situations are very much appreciated!

ETA: 10:54 pm- - River is at 48.27 feet, forecast to rise to 51 feet April 2, top of permanent dikes 60 feet.


Jason said...

Great shots! I have been watching a ton of the flooding out there. I have lots of connections there as well. I jsut can not imagine water rising that high! Good luck to all of you out there!


I will never complain about snow again, well maybe a little, I cant imagine having to put up with flooding. Ill say a little prayer for you guys.

Sharon said...

Ugh! I can't imagine just sitting and waiting. But then again, I do that during hurricane season. Good luck and God bless to you!

Nicki, said...

How terrifying. Thoughts and prayers for the safety of you and your community.

janett said...

Ugh, I got the chills looking at these. Every time I watch the news about the flooding I think of you, I can't even imagine.

pat said...

I think of you every time the news reports come on. Can't believe the river didn't crest as high as expected--that cold weather was a blessing in disguise. But, like you said, it just prolongs the wait--it will warm up and the melt will come. Sending prayers your way! Stay safe and dry.

Jena Photography said...

Great captures. Prayers for all those in the way of flooding. TFS!

Reds said...

That must be so scary! The water is so high! Great shots though!

Mandy said... is just so amazing what flooding can do to a landscape. I am thinking of you guys and praying that the water recedes really soon.


Jeanne said...

Wow! Like everyone else, they talk about the rising river and I think of you. If nothing else, you've put a personal side on this whole story. Your pictures are amazing.

I will keep good thoughts going that everything holds and no flooding will occur in your area.

How stressful that you are just waiting and waiting to see what happens.

Mom2Drew said...

Oh my...I wil definitely be keeping everyone in my prayers. We don't have a lot of flooding, but we have other disasters and I would not wish them on anyone.

Ann said...

WOW! I have been following everything on the news. Just a bad deal for sure. Stay safe. ~Ann

Beth said...

That shot of the water so close to the bridge height is scary. Danger, Will Robinson!

April said...

That has to be so scary for all of you. Great photos.

Amy said...

These are great shots documenting what's going on, I've seen coverage on our news here in Northern California. Prayers being said for those affected.