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.