Here 'tis, yesterday at its worst.
Waaaaaaaaaaaay too much rain in the entire region had put us on edge, but we've been in two 100-years flood already since we moved here, so we didn't really get jittery. The river named after a the only guy to die on the Lewis and Clark Expedition climbed out of its bed and swept angrily through the flood plane as if to remind us that we aren't in charge, at least not as much as we'd like to think.
Yesterday, the Sgt. Floyd River broke its own records by a foot or more--upwards of 20 feet above flood stage. And it got close to us, a bit frighteningly close.
How high did it get?
High enough for us to stop in LeMars and pick up a sump pump. I'm embarrassed to say it, but we'd always had a hole but never had a pump. Just hadn't gotten around to it. When our neighbors called (we were in SCity), wondering if they wanted us to check our pump, they said the water had come up into the backyard. We own an acre, so that didn't mean immediate disaster; but during those two other century floods, the river never really threatened.
We stopped in LeMars because five inches of rain in Orange City suggested that no Orange City stores would have any left (about that, we were right, by the way). So now we have a sump pump. Last night, thank goodness, it didn't have to work, but still. . .
How high did the water get?
When we got home at about three, it was in our backyard all right and still rising. We started to think about clearing things out of the basement. A couple dozen people at least were sandbagging at the neighbors', where things got much worse. But here, the water came up so high that Barbara grabbed the cushions on the grand old Morris chair and lugged them upstairs, leaving the thing bare naked.
How high did it get?
See that scum line? That's how close. I'm standing on our deck, and that's our rock garden in the lower right. Last night when we decided the day was done, Sergeant Floyd covered everything, smothered everything between that scum line and the water. Nothing from that point on peeked above the surface. On the far left is a renewed prairie that's got a ton of my sweat in it. We'll see what happens to all those pale purple cone flowers and so much else that had (sigh!) just started to bloom.
Then, after sundown on the year's longest day, there was just enough break in the clouds to brighten the sky.
You have to remember--what you see is a flood. But it's not hard to think of all that pink as a blessing.
But here's a much bigger one. This morning.
We made it. Everyone did in the neighborhood, but not without some wonderful, selfless help. A guy named Josh Van Wyhe and three others came in out of nowhere, took a look at our new sump pump, and sent me to the hardware store for a coupling we'd need. The woman there, bless her soul, jerry-rigged something out of alternative parts because, as you might guess, we weren't the only customers who needed sump pumps. Lots of people I know believe we don't give our own legion of guardian angels the credit they deserve.
So that makes three 100-year floods in the last five years, this one a foot worse than 2013, which had been the worst on record. It's called climate change.
Talk among yourselves.
My morning thanks this a.m. is for a swollen Sgt. Floyd River right outside that's, thankfully, not right outside.