It has been a long couple weeks of trying to hold back the Red River. These pictures were taken by a coworker on her way home from work this weekend.
The area under this bridge has a nice path where my husband and I ran most nights last fall. It will be a long time until it is dry again.
You can see the earthen dike in the background of the next picture. These dikes, along with sandbag dikes protected our cities. The high school and college students in this area and from all around North Dakota and Minnesota volunteered in droves as did most able bodied people, whether it was making meals, filling sandbags, moving furniture, watching children and many other tasks so that we could fight the flood. Business and schools closed to fight the river. Over two million sandbags were used and they were all filled and put in place in less than a week. FEMA advised a city-wide evacuation, to which our city leaders said no so that the people of our cities could continue to build dikes higher and higher, pump water that seeped in and help their neighbors. Had our people all left, our city would have certainly gone under water. It is amazing what can be accomplished when people work together and take responsibility.
Some nursing home residents, hospital patients and areas near the river did evacuate due to dangerous areas and lack of services. Although there was too much water in the river, citizens were asked to conserve water because the sanitary sewer system was overloaded. Evacuated areas are opening up again and nursing home are filling back up. It will take a long time for the water to go down, many people will be reaching their sandbag-diked homes in boats, canoes, and hip boots for many, many weeks yet.
The sky has been filled with helicopters and planes. The roads have been heavy with National Guard trucks and sandbag loaded trucks, police cars, ambulances and fire trucks from agencies across the state.
Not every home was safe from the river. My husband helped evacuate some friends after their dike failed and water inundated their basement. We know a number of others who have water in their basements too.
On Monday, the weather took another turn when we were blanketed with a foot of snow.
The cold weather has slowed the snow melt. The river is falling; when this snow melts the river will rise again.