Asking for cattails... or water lilies... or watercress...

jazmynsmom(Z5 Madison-ish)June 1, 2011

Sunflowers wouldn't be able to endure the wet feet. I don't need them, but my hometown (Bismarck, ND) sure does!

There are so many climate-change / weather related disasters going on right now, I guess I can't be surprised that what's going on in ND doesn't seem to be being covered in the nat'l (or even regional) media.

Bismarck is about to flood big time. The south part of it is going to stay flooded for up to eight weeks. Lake Sakakawea is overfull, and the Army Corps of Engineers is about to open the floodgates at Garrison Dam all the way (though that won't stop it from also being breached).

I have three aunts and two uncles who will almost certainly lose their homes (homes they've been in 35-40+ years), another aunt and uncle who will probably lose their home, and the sale of the home my parents built in 1977, which was supposed to be finalized today, has been put off until the 24th of next month at the soonest. (Can't blame a bank for not wanting to underwrite a mortgage on a home that's surrounded by three feet of sandbags. Flood insurance has a 30 day wait.)

Everybody that I know on the south side of Bismarck has moved the possessions out of their house in anticipation. They've ripped out cabinets, carpet and sheetrock to make the clean-up, if possible, easier. Traffic on the major through streets is blocked to all but a constant stream of dumptrucks, hauling load after load of sand to build an emergency dyke. Hundreds of homes found themselves on the wrong side of the dyke. People are being told "Take what you can, there's nothing that can be done." Technically, the advance notice is a blessing, but it sure leaves the imminently homeless feeling cursed.

My family has done nothing but move furniture and fill and stack sandbags for the past week. It's happening both suddenly and in slow motion. I'm frustrated that I'm not there to help, though I'm sure I'll be there for the clean-up... if there's anything left to clean.

Please keep these people in your thoughts and (if applicable) prayers. If you can spare any kindness or support in the aftermath, please remember them. They seem to be part of an ever-growing community of impacted communities. Not exactly the sort of club one wishes to join...

Here is a link that might be useful: Local news coverage

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Michelle, I'm so sorry to hear about Bismarck's and your family's troubles. IMO, anybody who doesn't think there's some kind of climate change occurring--is crazy! Good thoughts, even wet sunflowers, and lots of prayers are on the way to them.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 2:41PM
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Michelle, Here are some more Sunflowers, along with prayers for your family and your hometown.
I know you must be in a state knowing it's coming and there's nothing anyone can do.

(I'm still cleaning up big Oak limbs and debris from the last big storm----I'll take this any day over flooding!!!)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 4:37PM
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I was just about to come find you. I saw the flooding in ND and thought of you. I am on my way to St Louis and was checking out where the Mississippi flooding stands when I saw that further upstream they were releasing water from the MO river, that had been stored up until the MS could handle more flow. It's all so horrible. My thoughts and heartfelt kind wishes for all involved.

Loads of beautiful water lilies coming your way.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 5:11PM
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Michelle, I'm so sorry to hear of your family's troubles.I just can't imagine going through a disaster of that type.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 11:59PM
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oooops, Michelle---sorry; make those Sunflowers I sent to you, Cattails---I do have a few of those!

Hopefully, the worst will be over soon and folks can get their daily lives righted again...

More prayers coming.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 7:36AM
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Michelle, good thoughts coming your way for you and yours. I read some of the stories in the Bismark Tribune and it looks tough for the people there, lots of new dikes, berms and road closures. Hope things turn out well for your family.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 11:32AM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

I feel for your family and the rest of the folks. I am not sending flowers, I sending sand and bleach!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 12:38PM
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gmatx zone 6

Michelle, prayers and positive thoughts going to your family and friends in ND.

This year has been an unbelievable year of weather disasters for this country. Prayers for all of us to have the faith and strength to withstand whatever happens.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 1:13PM
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Michelle, I am so sorry.
It is so sad for folks to have to go through any disaster.
A flood is a horrible thing.
It sucks eggs that your family is in the area that will be flooded.

Neil and I were talking about all the people who need help
and here we sit too impaired to do anything but make

My prayers and thoughts will be with you and your family.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 11:00PM
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How are things today? I sure hope that things haven't gotten worse!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 5:00PM
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jazmynsmom(Z5 Madison-ish)

Things haven't gotten any worse, Agnes. But they haven't gotten any better either. It seems at least two family homes are certainly doomed. Time will tell how the rest fare.

A group of Catholic nuns has taken in my Lutheran aunt and uncle. Another aunt and uncle are living with grown children. Everyone I know has become a sandbagging pro.

This is happening in slow motion, and once inundated, homes will stay so for weeks. That bleach will come in handy!

And as the water continues to flow, it'll have similar impacts on communities downstream.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 9:23PM
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Hope they will be able to rebuild or move on as they wish or want with help and the flooding is kept to limits that save more homes. Still thinking of you and yours.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 12:12PM
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I'm interested in getting some cattails.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 9:15PM
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There has never, ever been any tragedy that a warm hug, a quick prayer, a kind word of encouragement didn't help.

They can open prisons and jails, get lots of volunteers to fill sand bags, and get ready for it, but it takes special kinds of folks to offer the comfort needed when everything one has is gone or damaged...

You and Neil are just as capable, and just as useful as anyone else in these times.

We're glad we got you!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 10:19PM
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Hey Michelle?

I realize this is a "kicked-up thread", but how did everything come out? Or are they still dealing with the remnants? I thought about them all the way from here to St Louis, crossing every river in between back in June.

Here, we're finally opening our big mall, next spring; two years later! Ooo, I hope they open it on May 1-2, that'd be a full circle. I like completeness.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 11:35AM
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jazmynsmom(Z5 Madison-ish)

It's still flooded, Rob, but the worst is over. One aunt did get weeks of water in her basement, two aunts and two uncles are still evacuated, but the sandbags held. (Of course they'll have to replace sheetrock and cabinets when they do go back.) My parents will FINALLY close on the sale of my childhood home tomorrow. (Turns out no bank will write a mortgage on a property with a 3-foot wall of sandbags around it --- but the new people have been paying rent in the interim.)

Sometimes all it takes is a bigger tragedy to put things into perspective. We got that in the form of my 61 year old aunt slipping into a coma and dying a couple weeks later. Perspective is a b$@&!, eh?

It'll take ND and the other inundated states a while to right themselves, but it'll happen.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 12:05PM
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Yes, it does take time. And loads of help. Phooey. I was hoping for better, but this is good progress. To be expected.

I am so sorry about the flooding and the aunt.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 12:28PM
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