Friday, March 27, 2009

How high is too high?

National Weather Service defines 'flood stage' for Fargo/Moorehead as 18 feet. This afternoon at 12:40 p.m., it was 40 feet 9 inches. It's expected to keep rising for another day or 2. According to the NWS, the record height observed was in 1897 at 40' 1".

It's top news on CNN, so the world at large knows. Of course, so is the fact that Texas is having blizzards - but that involves people driving who've never seen snow before. CNN reported an expected 7-10 in. snow in Amarillo (where the worst tasting coffee in the McDonalds universe is located). They promptly added there might be "snow drifts of up to 10 feet". Sure, if all of the snow in the entire county all shows up at the same place, maybe.

It's amazing reading/watching the news from out west - in the Fargo/Moorehead/Grand Forks area. Flooding has been in the news for at least the past week. It's like watching a freight train barreling down at you, and not being able to get away from it.

where do you get all the dirt for dikes? "out in a hole by the airport. It looks like the Grand Canyon."

Snows? Yes, the water slows down, but ... apparently "stacking frozen sandbags is like stacking frozen turkeys." The National Guard is storing their sandbags in a heated building for emergency response to dike/levee breaches.

MPR solicited "what would you grab, if you were getting evacuated?" My response:
my son's favorite stuffed toys. I think it would be easier to explain "the cat died" than "Mr. Giraffe got lost in the flood". Besides, the psychologically comforting function of the stuffed critters would be critical in maintaining my sanity.


Anonymous said...

I remember the Red River flooding in 1997. Hard to imagine it's worse this time around. I bet Grand Forks is watching what happens in Fargo with quaking knees. They really got hit in 97.

But I have a hard time imagining what it would be like to have to evacuate because of a wild fire or a flood. I was visiting my friend Joan's family on Long Beach Island after college graduation and we were ordered to evacuate very early on the morning of the second day. Cops came around and knocked on doors. A hurricane was coming and Long Beach Island was directly in its path. We packed up and drove back to Philly where we waited out the storm -- copious rain, loss of power, the whole shebang -- and watched it come ashore on top of Atlantic City. We drove back the next day. That's the only time I've experienced evacuation and I was already living out of my suitcase....

Gopher MPH said...

when were you on LBI? Or rather, which hurricane was it for?? I was living there when Belle (I think '78?) hit. I spent about 30 minutes standing at the top of the dunes on the ocean side watching the storm. One of the most impressive displays of Mother Nature I've ever seen. Truly Awe inspiring, wiht a capital A. I'd never seen the ocean so high. And that was before counting the 20+ foot tall waves. Truly Awe inspiring.