The big floods in our state

flooding-in-fargoMinnesotan’s are dealing with a record breaking flood that’s almost upon them.  Right now, north of us in Fargo, North Dakota and Grand Forks, MN, the rivers will be cresting at a higher level than they predicted a few weeks ago and people are scrambling.  Right now they are saying it will crest at 41 feet.  

Now it’s been raining and on top of that, just into the border into Canada, they are getting blasted with a blizzard and nothing was even open today. The weathermen are saying it’s better off being snow than rain at this point since it won’t be an immediate problem because it’s go ing to have to melt.  

I know many people and have many relatives just waiting to get the news to evacuate.  The Red River, which runs north, runs right along many of their homes.  The dikes and culverts just can’t handle all the water and the land is so flat it just takes over and what’s in Minnesota and North Dakota today, will be in Canada tomorrow.  Lisa told me her yard is under water and she has ponds where she didn’t have them before.  I’ve been up there when it’s been like this and there are many people I know who right now, can’t get out of their homes with the mud and water the way it is.  I pray for them because I now how devastating it is for them.

This is a picture I got from one of my cousins and it’s supposed to be a road and a corn field.


When I was getting my haircut yesterday, Linda and I were talking about this.  Her daughter’s boyfriend who’s in college up north was going yesterday to fill sand bags.  They need two million and are a half a million shy of that.  But it got us to talking and wondering about a couple of things.

Why do people live there was number one?  Well, I’m not sure I would want to move.  Many of these people have lived there all their lives.  In my memory, this has happened bad like this 3 times and I’m 51 so it’s not like it happens every year.  But then the number 2 thing would be, can’t they do anything about it so it doesn’t happen again?  Like bigger dikes or something?  I’m just asking.  I have no idea.  I know in Canada, they built bigger dikes but that hasn’t seemed to help anything.

So the number 1 question we could think of is what the heck do they do with all the sand bags from previous years?   Can’t they build a building to store them so they don’t need to fill 2 million each time this happens?  Lo and behold, not even 10 minutes after I’d written down this idea for a post, this came on WCCO’s Good Question.  I just looked at Paul and laughed because I’d just told him “hold on, I need to write down an idea.”  He’s used to that!!! So here what they said about reusing sand bags.


In Minnesota: dry sandbags can be reused.  Each city or county deals with them differently.  In some cases, the bags are stored and reused.  In others, the bags are busted up, and the sand is used as fill for roads or sidewalks.

Why don’t they keep sandbags in flood-prone areas in storage?  They keep some, but think of the storage issues.  Plus, sandbags are very heavy.  To move them in mass quantities would be more difficult than moving the sand, moving the bags, and filling on-site.

Wet sandbags are trickier.  Think about what’s in flood water.  It’s not generally clean water.  Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency told me last year that they typically go to a landfill, because it’s hard to figure out what else is in the water.  It’s not worth the expense.

I guess I’m not sure why I wrote this post other than I’m very worried and sorry for all my friends and family who are up there dealing with this right now.  So please think of them and pray for them or talk to who you talk to and silently wish them well.

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13 Responses to The big floods in our state

  1. JavaQueen says:

    Very scary and sad- I will keep you all in my prayers!

  2. starlaschat says:

    I’m so Glad you wrote this post Joy. I saw the News last night and was very concerned. So I’m glad for the up date and will of course put shout out of prayers going your way. What a tough situation. Mother Nature sure can wallop a punch at times. By the way the banner photo is beautiful.

  3. mssc54 says:


    Please be aware that you should (to the best of your ability) avoid wading in flood waters. Flood waters mix with sewer water that has all kinds of bacteria and diseases (Heppititus, HIV, etc). EVERYONE who comes into contact with flood waters SHOULD HAVE AN UP TO DATE TETNAS SHOT!!

    But at least you shouldn’t have to worry about snakes. If your dwellings get flooded contact me and I will make sure you have up to date professional information to help you minimize health threats and not get taken advantage of by insurance company.

    Good luck!


  4. Sue says:

    This is just a sucky situation. I think you and Linda came up with very good questions as to why people live there, ect. In 1997, the last record flood up there, a group of us high schooler’s went up there to help clean up AFTER the waters started receeding. YUCK! We were split into groups and my group ended up on a dairy farm in the middle of nowhere! There was still lots of standing water, but at least the road was open. The owners had pictures of the day they evacuated and it was very sad. They had sandbags around the house, but the water still flooded the basement and first floor. They did loose some of their cattle and they were driving through water up to the hood of their truck pulling the trailer trying to get them out.

    Everything was grossly dirty. The organizers did tell us of the dangers of flood water and the silt it leaves behind (all the diseases like MssC said) and we were told to throw our clothes away when we got home b/c there was no way for them to come clean. It was the longest day of my life. It was hard work and you really didn’t feel like you were helping because everywhere you looked there was more to clean up so you felt like you were going nowhere.

    Let’s say lots of prayers and hopefully the river doesn’t crest as high as they’re predicting.

  5. Doraz says:

    Hope all works out for everyone. Mother Nature!

  6. pammy wammy says:

    I live in the ring dike at Emerson.In 1997 we were evacuated for 3 weeks.The homes inside the dike were ontouched.Thank God.Now it is just waiting again to see if we are evacuated.2morro at work,we will be updated on what the procedures will be if there is an evacuation.I work at the Emerson Personnel Care Home.The residents and the elderly are our first priority.I will no more 2morro.I really dont want to evacuate again.It is not fun.I find the not knowing,very stressful.

  7. Gary says:

    Unfortunately, this is all too common where I live. I live along the Mississipi river and the Rock River in Illinois. The Mississippi river is about 3 miles south of my house. Yes, I said South. I live at the ONLY point along the river that runs East and West instead of North and South.

    Last year we had the worst flooding here in history. I live far enough away where I thankfully was not afffected.

    I will keep these people in my prayers and wish them all the best.

  8. nikki says:

    The reason of why you wrote this post is good enough Joy. You care, and sometimes writing about something you care about or worried about helps in a way. At least in my mind anyway. I don’t know why I write half the stuff I do but you don’t always have to have a reason to why you are writing something. It’s in your heart and that’s what a lot of readers like to read.
    Anyways…this is such a sad and horrible situation for these people. I can remember when I was in grade school our town flooded and you’d see boats going down the street instead of cars. It ruins everything from land to your spirits. I will keep them all in my thoughts and hope like -ell that it doesn’t get any worse. I just want to yell at the top of my lungs… MOTHER NATURE GIVE US ALL A BREAK!!!!

  9. Tosha says:

    I’ve been reading about this all day. Its sad but why people live there.. Why live where hurricane’s hit, where tornadoes are common, Mud slides, wild fires? Severe weather can happen anywhere. There is always a chance of something happening and destroying your home no matter where you live.

  10. nikki says:

    I just found out my niece is stuck up in North Dakota because of this. 😦 They were supposed to be back today because it’s our night to have her…what was her mom thinking even going up there!!??

  11. kweenmama says:

    This situation is sad. I will add them to my prayers. I hope the rivers don’t crest as high as originally thought.

  12. San says:

    Hope everyone is ok 😦 I have been out of the news and didn’t know this was going down up there – stay safe!

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