Friday, June 22, 2012

Surviving the Flood

Well, now I'm in trouble. Blogger has changed and I don't have the faintest idea of what this will look like.

The spectacular weather of the past week has caused many folks to contact me with inquiries about our health, the condition of our home, and general expressions of WTF regarding the news coverage of my dear home town.

For those living under a rock, a massive, 500 year event occured over the past few days. Ten plus inches of rain fell on the region over a 3 day period.  Up to two inches an hour fell during the most intense periods. The effect of that quantity of water falling on ground that was already saturated produced some spectacular results.

Most, but not all, of Duluth is built on a hillside. Water always seeks lower ground so all of the millions billions of gallons of water made haste to the lowest point around, Lake Superior.  There are all kinds of images floating around the infernalnet that document the destruction.  Wherever there was a culvert it likely is no longer there as well as whatever was on top of it.  Railroad grades used by the taconite industry to carry product down to the lake for shipment are now just twisted masses of metal ribbon at the bottom of new gully's.  The parts of Duluth and the surrounding country side that are more or less flat became instant lakes, flooding homes, businesses, and schools. One little kid got sucked into an underground aqueduct and appeared 6 blocks down the hill - unharmed.  Lake Superior rose 4 inches in two days.  One inch of surface water is equal to 553 billion gallons of water.  You do the math.

The most amazing thing about this event is that no one died (that we know of).  People are displaced, inconvenienced, and financially hurt, but no one died.

The projected bill for the damage done is over 100 million dollars and climbing. This is not helpful for a region already struggling with financial challenges.  We are a tough group up here though and we will pull through.

So, for those of you who are curious about my personal well being, we all came through unharmed and the house is intact.  My little neighborhood appears to be relatively unscathed. Partially due to the fact that we are bordered on either side by two "creeks" that normally channel water down to the lake.  They took the brunt of the impact, sparing most of the streets and dwellings in between.  We did marvel at the shear quantity of rain that fell on us almost constantly for two days.  The poor little poodle had to dash out in times of relative calm to do her business.

The big lake, normally a crystal clear blue is now looking like the world's largest latte.  So much sediment was carried down by the floodwater's.

I haven't been posting much here because I am enjoying life and don't feel like there is all that much to write about.  I should have retired 30 years ago (wait, I basically acted like I was retired 30 years ago).  I putter around the house, take the dog for walks, occasionally do my Honeydew lists, and enjoy living where I do.

My health is still holding.  I go down to the Mayo next week for my regular quarterly checkup.  I never know what that will bring so there is always some anxiety involved.  Several of my friends are going through their own battles with cancer.  Some new at it, some old vets and I lend my support where I can.

If you REALLY miss updates, give me a shout and I will jot something down.  Till next time - don't take things for granted.