Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Soggy and Scenic South Dakota

THE SOGGY

NOT MUCH CURB APPEAL.

It's been raining.  More than two inches (5.1 cm) in the past 24 hours and more to come over the next 24.  That and the increase in the amount of water being released from the dam has not helped the flooding situation in Pierre and Fort Pierre. 

"I'LL BUILD A STAIRWAY TO PARADISE."  THE ONLY WAY INTO THE HOUSE.

Yesterday afternoon, we drove over to Linda and Tom's friends' house on the Missouri River in Fort Pierre.  Linda and Tom spent days helping their friends move everything upstairs from the basement and the first floor.  They also helped build an impressive sandbag wall around the house and the neighbor's house.  The wall stands about 6 feet tall (more than 1.8 meters).  Beyond that is a dirt berm (levee) built by the Army Corps of Engineers.

THE VIEW.

The house is beautifully situated (one would think) on the river with a perfect view of the capitol building across the way in Pierre.  There used to be plenty of distance and rolling lawn leading to the river.  Right now, if it weren't for the berm and sandbags, the house would be IN the river.

THE SIGHTSEERS ON THEIR WAY TO SPAIN.
WE ARRIVED AFTER ALL THE WORK WAS COMPLETED.

Sump pumps are running in the basement, which keeps the water level there comfortably below a couple of inches.  Carpet has been pulled out of the basement and off the stairs.  Wallboard has been cut out in the basement to avoid the "creep" of water being absorbed up the wall.  So, now all they do is watch, and wait, and make sure the sump pumps are working.


THE SCENIC

ABOUT 40 MINUTES FROM PIERRE.  A 19TH-CENTURY SCHOOLHOUSE.

On our way back to Pierre from Minneapolis Saturday, we drove through a very scenic part of central South Dakota (instead of taking the long and boring interstate route we took in the other direction).

ONE OF MANY ABANDONED FARMS.

Traveling was a little slow-going as we went from small town to small town (one posted as having a population of 53), but it cut out many miles and more than an hour of driving time.  Added to that, the drive was much more picturesque.

ANOTHER ABANDONED FARM
THE SMUDGES IN THE IMAGE ARE BUG GUTS ON THE WINDSHIELD.

17 comments:

  1. uggh, thats so terrible what your friends are going through. impressive sand wall, lotsa work.

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  2. Todd: I don't know how they manage. There's a general pall over the people here, but they keep plowing forward. The sandbag wall is, to be honest, a marvel. It took a lot of patience, back-breaking effort, and a ton of adrenaline.

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  3. Lordy moses. I guess our drought is nothing compared to that. The only thing worse than water is wind (that includes tornado and hurricane) and maybe earthquake. I did earthquake, in 1989, so I can check that off my list.

    Hope things get better for those folks soon.

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  4. Wow, so scary with all of those sandbags, I can't imagine all the work that went into it.

    I love seeing the pics of you and Jerry - keep them coming:)

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  5. Hello Mitch:
    What a terrible situation to be in and to be living with. We are so very sorry for your friends.

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  6. Walt the Fourth: And there were tornado watches and warnings in the area this evening. Paradise. I'm used to earthquakes (but nothing major); tornadoes really scare me.

    Caitlin: The average age of the people that erected that sandbag specific wall was 63! Pure adrenaline. As for the pics of Jerry and me... thanks, I can't stand them! ;)

    J&L: Our friends are some of the fortunate few who have another home to retreat to and, although it's physically, emotionally, and financially devastating, they have the resources to recover from this. I don't know how some others will do so.

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  7. What a shame. I've always rather fancied living on a river but scenes such as these make me glad that I never have. You two look very handsome in the photo!

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  8. That's a depressing way to live.
    But there is still that pioneer spirit of getting the job done and protecting the homestead.

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  9. yes
    we generally get a bit "tutty" when it rains for one afternoon...look at you sandbags and the end of the world.....very dAY after tomorrow!!!

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  10. Craig: I agree (about river living). As for the very handsome: Thanks. I agree about Jerry. As for me, perhaps your monitor doesn't have very good resolution -- for which I'm grateful! (But, also, thanks!)

    John: We're like you; no sunshine for one day and we're whining. So it doesn't help that it's pouring and the winds are blowing here again today (and did so all night). It's a good thing we so love our family here!

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  11. Gee, I better not be complaining any more! This has affected so many people this year.
    Stay dry and I really like the photos of your travels.
    Jim

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  12. I like it wet and sloppy but that is ridiculous! m.

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  13. Bob: The pioneer spirit for certain. Their determination is admirable.

    Jim: Oh, what the heck, we can still complain! Thanks for the kind words regarding the photos. Some interesting travels still to come before we get to Spain.

    Mark: I'm more the dry and neat type (well... sometimes). And, you're correct, this is ridiculous. We just drove home from our morning coffee. A row boat might have been better.

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  14. Now that I've got you on my 'watch-list', Mitch, (far too belatedly) I visit your site and find THIS? Oh dear! What can be added that hasn't been said by those above? Seems like 'the only way is up!', not just for you, but for all those close to you. Sincerely hope that's the way it's going to be. Best wishes for what's to come....... I'm watching!

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  15. The Scenic: Love those travels from the beaten path. We did Route 41 southwards in Indiana in 2009, but soon changed to the backroads becxause there's more to see.

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  16. The Soggy: I feel sorry for those who have to live like that, never knowing when all will washed out or not.

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  17. Raybeard: It's reassuring to know you're "watching." Thanks!

    Tippin: The rains have ended for the next couple of days at least, which gives everyone a chance to pump out the low spots again. Sadly, more rain is on its way. I've never been to Indiana and, with the upcoming move, not likely to get there now.

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