Wednesday, March 25, 2009

the Red River valley flood of 2009

Heading to town. The overcast sky makes it difficult to distinguish the snow from the water. But this...
isn't a lake. It's a field. In the foreground, the other side of the shoulder of the road, is a ditch that is about 2.5 meters deep and 5 meters across the top. What's that off in the distance?

Farm buildings surrounded by snow melt and field run-off.


Snow and water on the prairie. And a clearer view of the ditch.
Boy you sure don't want to nose plant your car in that. It is deep enough that it would submerge an entire passenger vehicle.

Roads were decent so made it to town with no problem. This is the bridge that we normally drive under to get to my son's karate class by way of the park by the river.


I don't have a great shot of the Island Park levee that is a permanently installed dike protecting downtown Fargo. They rather discourage tourists from stopping for quality shots right now, and fair enough too.

This is taken from my car at a red light. The water is better than 40 feet higher than it normally is.


Left the book store at 5:45pm. Took 2 hours 45 minutes to get through Fargo and across the Red River.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
gave the luster of midday to the flood plain below.



Current Flood Forecast as of 2:11pm 27th March, 2009
Take note of the careful wording which translates as "we have no idea how the flood will progress or how long it last". It will be at least a week.

THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE RED RIVER AT FARGO.
* UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

* AT 1115 AM FRIDAY MARCH 27 THE STAGE WAS 40.63 FEET. THIS EXCEEDS THE MAXIMUM LEVEL OBSERVED IN 1997...WHICH WAS 39.57 FEET. THIS LEVEL ALSO EXCEEDS THE RECORD HEIGHT OBSERVED IN 1897...WHICH
WAS 40.10 FEET.

* RECORD FLOODING IS OCCURRING.

* FLOOD STAGE IS 18.0 FEET. MODERATE...25.0 FEET. MAJOR...30.0 FEET.

* FORECAST...CONDITIONS ON THE RED RIVER AT FARGO HAVE GROWN INCREASINGLY DANGEROUS OVER THE PAST 24 HOURS. THE RIVER IS CURRENTLY ABOVE RECORD LEVELS...IS STILL RISING BUT AT A SLOWER RATE. WITH THE RIVER EXCEEDING THE PREVIOUS RECORD LEVEL...THE RELATIVE UNCERTAINTY IN FORECAST MODELS HAS INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY. RECORD FLOWS UPSTREAM OF FARGO HAVE PRODUCED UNPRECEDENTED CONDITIONS ON THE RED RIVER. GIVEN THESE FACTORS...THE RIVER IS EXPECTED TO BEHAVE IN WAYS NEVER PREVIOUSLY OBSERVED. THE CREST FORECAST AT FARGO IS NOW EXPECTED TO BE BETWEEN 41 AND 42 FEET BY SATURDAY...BUT COULD POTENTIALLY BE AS HIGH AS 43 FEET... AND CONTINUE FOR 3 TO 7 DAYS.

* IMPACT STATEMENT(S) - AT 41.3 FEET, FARGO...TOP ELEVATION OF THE ISLAND PARK PERMANENT LEVEE.

* FLOODING IN THE RED RIVER BASIN IS NORMALLY LONG TERM. THIS FORECAST WILL REMAIN ABOVE FLOOD STAGE THROUGH THE FORECAST PERIOD.

&&

DAILY 7 AM CDT/6 AM CST FORECAST STAGE IN FEET:

DATE SAT SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI
(MONTH/DAY) 03/28 03/29 03/30 03/31 04/01 04/02 04/03
RED RIVER
FARGO 41.7 42.0 42.0 42.0 41.9 41.8 41.5


Here's a link to the Flood Watch webcam shot of the dike.

17 comments:

Traceytreasure said...

I've been watching this on the news. I can't believe it. I've been worried about you and yours.

Thanks for posting. I don't know how I missed this yesterday. Be safe out there. I hope the flooding stops soon.

My Oldest Daughter is starting her karate classes next week.

Keep us posted as to how you're doing, okay?

Hugs!!

Thump Thump Eyes said...

Its seriously scary Fiery, hoping all is well with you right at this minute and all the minutes to come to get through this...keep posting if you can so we know you're all ok :) xxx

Richard said...

Some pretty cool photos, Fiery, well done. You should retake a couple of those when the water is gone,so they can be directly compared. That bridge one is pretty scary!!

I take it, by its conspicuous absence, that your house and immediate surroundings are quite safe. That's good news.

How are the kids affected by the flooding?

Battery said...

Wishing your bookstore luck. Hope she has enough funds to whether the loss of time due to flood and will emerge the other side full of books for me to bor............. err buy

Fiery said...

Tracey- me and mine are sitting high and dry. For the most part. Little ground seepage into the crawl space that has to be dealt with a few times per day so it doesn't flood the whole area. But that happens every spring. The weird thing is that I also have to worry about the hose freezing over night. AARGGHH!!! Thawing and freezing. *rolls eyes* Nothing like what Fargo is facing though. *shudders*

Karate can be an awesome experience, one thing about it though. You get out of it what you put into it. Same as with musical instruments. If you take it seriously, you practice. If you don't practice, it's just glorified day care.

[/end potential rant] ;)

Thump- The mood around town the last few days has been verging on hysteria. Anyone not contributing is seen as part of the problem. Compulsory volunteerism. *shakes head* One jack hole radio talk show host (Ed Schultz) a real piece of shit was demanding martial law and compulsory community service by every able body man, woman and child. ..|..

Richard- yep. I like me the before and after pics. Gives you some perspective on what's going on. Will have to try and remember where along the route the farm buildings are, but especially the river shots. Will be hard to believe it's the same place.

Battery- :) Thanks for the good wishes! We need to open ASAP but thus far, it is within our means. Dang shoe string start-up. ;) As for the books, I'll set you up with a nice trade credit file, only thing is, you have to get the books in person. >:)

Thump Thump Eyes said...

I saw that mood reflected in the news vids that are around, but martial law sheesh thats over the top!!

Currently we're hearing that the river has gone down a little, hope that's correct and it keeps going that way slowly but surely?

Glad you're ok though and only have a little water to worry about :) amongst other things, although that would be bad enough!!

Orion77 said...

Martial Law, what a turd.

You photo's are great. I agree with Richard, some after shots would be interesting.

Do you guys get a summer?

Richard said...

Orion: "Do you guys get a summer?"

LOL

Around this time of year one does start to question the irrevocable laws of physics that brought all previous summers.

Here in Toronto, in the 1980s, we had a shitload of snow (17", ~40cm) on March 31st. Snowplowing contracts (even with the government) generally end on that day. April Fool's Day had a lot of pissed off people digging their way to their cars and to work. By that afternoon it was sunny and 18 degrees Celsius. The rivers and creeks overflowed, and roads were slush and water.

Fiery said...

Thump- the river has crested for the moment, but we've got at least one winter storm on the way with possibly 8-12 inches to drop on us and strong winds which can blow the water over and stress the dikes. *sigh*

Orion- we do indeed get summer. With high high HIGH humidity and temps that can get up to and stay around 30*C+ for weeks at a time including not getting below 28*C at night. Which makes it REALLY hard to live with.

This flooding is springs dawning and happens every year. I just haven't seen it thaw, flood, freeze, snow, flood, snow, flood like this before.

There will be "after" pics as well. When there is an after. I found the farm buildings from the one pic so can get the ditch dried out in perspective. And I definitely know where the bridge is.

Stay tuned. ;)

Thump Thump Eyes said...

I see Rush Limbaugh is complaining about the use of the word dikes in the media with regards to whats happening in Fargo...what a farking tosser!

" Isn't there a more appropriate word? Do we have to say, I mean, we don't have any dikes here. The 'dykes' are over there...They're filling in the dikes. Couldn't we change that to 'they're filling in the contingencies' or something?...We really need to change that word."
http://www.towleroad.com/2009/03/limbaugh-uses-fargo-floods-to-express-antigay-disgust.html

Anyways, glad you're ok...

Fiery said...

BWAHAHAHAHAHAAHA Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot.

wait. Isn't there a book by that very title?

*snerk*

It's a dike, Rush. It's not contagious. And it won't make you want to suck on a penis. So grow up. Stop acting like you are in junior high and sniggering when some asks if you're "going to do it?".

What a twat.

Thump Thump Eyes said...

Thought you might get a laugh out of that one :)

Richard said...

If a bridge goes over water, what is it when water goes over a bridge?

It's FIERY'S WORLD AAAAaaaaHah hah hah hah. Total loser in an icy swamp. Girl in love with dykes. Shnerk.

Oh, wait!?

Am I being insensitive? Sorry!

Naaaaaaah, stuff a sandbag in it babe. Here in Chanada, we have floodways, thanks to Big Brother.

Oh Hell, have I ksaid somethinhg wrong??? Blame the Brandy, ... please. Hick!

Fiery said...

Aw Richard. Sorry I am to hear that you are reaching again for the brandy. Isn't not a happy social thing with you, is it? Not a way to cut loose with friends and let the cares of life drift away. No. It's more a last gasp of desperation before the despair takes over and you wonder how you will find the strength to take your next breath.

My very deepest heart felt condolences on your misery Richard. And my sincere wish that I could see a way clear for you.

As our Tracey would say, Hugs!!!

Thump Thump Eyes said...

Chanada? have the chinese taken over? :0)

Richard said...

Wow, that was the most nicest thing I've ever had said to me!

Thank-you Fiery!

I received a text message that tomorrow my new business site will be operative. It still will be without shopping and shipping (which is a HUGE piss off) but it is a big step in the right direction.

I suspect I will die of old age before it gets off the ground. I would ENJOY fighting a flood because I would see the results of my efforts. These programmer guys have no grasp of the relation between building sand bag dykes and writing software that works.

If you grasp that last metaphor, you know that BOTH involve sustaining one's life.

Pink said...

Take care and be safe, Fiery.