Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fargo, ND: Build a Permanent Dike!

Seriously, it's so much better spending the days in this God-awful wintery April, building things like this out of snow, than sweating out the rise of the river. Of course we're anxious about the river in Grand Forks, but it's "left-over" anxiety, triggered by our memories of '97, rather than any kind of imminent danger of flooding from the river.

The family that created the incredible Halloween display this year in their front yard has now transformed the snow, with the help of a little food coloring, into this majestic snow sculpture. Look at the size of this thing!

There may be unease in Grand Forks right now, and a certain amount of restlessness, knowing that a 2nd river crest will come but we don't have to be in desperate survival-mode. A $417 million permanent dike buys a lot of peace of mind! Our cities (Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, on the ND and MN sides) went through the grueling recovery process that was much, much longer than we had dreamed it would be. We were told it would take 5 years to "recover" and I thought this was an outrageous amount of time. But it did take 5 years to recover from a flood that nearly erased our zip codes! And it wasn't all "Kumbaya. . . we-shall-overcome" cooperation either. People fought with each other, made accusations, pointed their fingers, stomped and hollered. . . and mainly grieved. But eventually there was agreement to proceed with the dike project, and agreement to take on our own taxes and assessments, along with federal and state funds, to build this project.

Now, looking back, it just seems that it would have been wonderful if we could have skipped the flood, skipped the fires that also broke out in the downtown on Day 2 of our own personal Horror Show, skipped shipping our children off to far away states and schools while we stayed behind to deal with the smell and the chaos, the lack of electricity and water for weeks on end . . . and built permanent protection before the flood!

With children, we want to warn them about things so that they can learn from our experiences, to save them the anguish of our mistakes, but sometimes they just have to learn for themselves.And the truth is, children NEED to learn for themselves. I SO hope it doesn't have to be the same way for Fargo, ND.

17 comments:

Sharon said...

That is incredible!

Hopefully Fargo will see that the dyke worked for you.

Shanna said...

Wow..that is so cool!

Jeanne said...

This is absolutely amazing!

I'm so glad that you don't have to worry because of an imminent danger. I hope Fargo learns and builds themselves a permanent dyke!

Amy said...

Very cool!

Jason said...

I pray Fargo steps up and does that as well!

Maria said...

I'm sorry that the Fargo situation has brought all of those sad memories to the fore. I wish that things were still not so precarious for Fargo residents. We'll continue to keep North Dakota in our prayers.

Cathi Green said...

OH my goodness. That lion is so cool. That looks like it was a lot of work.

Gypsy Girl said...

That is some scuplpture. Someone had alot of time on their hands. That was my exact question to my dh why on earth do they not build a permanent dyke. Recovery. We are still recovering since July, and this town will be recovering Forever. Only 1 bridge has been fixed and it is only a 1 lane.

S.Kremer said...

I have family that reside in the Fargo area....I agree they need some permanent protection in place. Nice pics:)
Shawna (shawkrem)

Sara said...

Still thinking of you all out there.

And the snow sculpture is simply amazing!

Nicki, said...

Awesome home decor/lion. I hope you are soon relieved from the pressing threat and that everyone can come together and work towards making the necessary sacrifices to take the necessary actions to reduce future threats of flooding. My hometown was seriously flooded in the mid-80s and the amount of change they pulled together and made has made a huge difference in their flooding status ever since.

Reds said...

That is a great lion! - Can't believe they made that with dirty snow!! ;)

Barb said...

That is literally a cool sculture!

Beth said...

That is an amazing snow lion! I hope you stay safe!

shirley said...

That lion is amazing - I can't believe it is made out of snow!
Hopefully Fargo will follow your lead after this.

Amy said...

How neat, that took a lot of work! And I hope the 2nd crest is as minor as can be! :)

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