Thursday, April 18, 2013

Flooding woes

Photo: How our back 20 acres looks right now. If you don't see me over the next couple days it's because I'll be helping my family build a makeshift ark.
That's the top of a fence post in the lower right-hand corner.
Life just keeps getting more complicated. We've known for the past two days that we were going to get a flood today, but there was not a lot that we could do about it. I hate feeling helpless.

I woke up this morning at 6:30 after less than six hours of sleep. I told Mike he needed to get going because there was likely a lot of damage control that needed to be done before he went to work. In my mind, I was thinking about how much I wanted to catch another hour of sleep, but as soon as I looked out our bathroom window I was shocked into reality. There was water everywhere. I immediately knew there was no way I was going to fall back asleep as the adrenaline kicked in.

We put a pot of steel-cut oats on the stove and started coffee, and Mike and Sarah went out to do chores and whatever else needed to be done. I saw the horse in the pasture, blocked by the flood from getting to a shelter, so I went to the barn, grabbed a lead rope, and led him through the front yard to another pasture where he could get out of the rain. Then Jonathan came outside and told me that our turkey poults were at the post office.

I jumped in the car and headed towards town. The road next to the bridge to the west of our house was flooded, so I turned around to take a different route. I passed by Mike fixing a fence in the sheep pasture. I could see where the road had been flooded overnight in four places on my alternate route. Driving past other intersections I saw debris covered roads and a "Road Closed" sign. The intersection at the post office was completely flooded. I parked and went inside. As soon as the postmaster saw me, she knew I was there to pick up my poults, and I asked her if that intersection usually floods. She shook her head and said, "Not like that!" I told her that our road was flooded west of our farm, and she yelled back to our mail carrier who was sorting the day's mail. And then she said, "The worst is yet to come," which I had seen on, but it still make my throat feel tight to hear it.

Driving home with chirping turkey poults on the seat next to me, I alternated between crying and chuckling like a mad woman. I knew there wasn't anything that we could do other than simply deal with whatever happened to get thrown our way. I remembered my mother saying "if the good Lord is willing and the creek don't rise" sometimes, and it suddenly made sense to me. It was not just another cliche.

Mike and I spent most of the day organizing paperwork as I tried to distract myself from the constant rain. I had convinced him to not go to work. If we lost electricity, we'd need everyone at home to deal with the basement flooding because our generator didn't start the last time we tried to use it.

As the rain seemed to slow down and finally stop, I felt a little guilty about keeping him from work because nothing horrible had happened. And then the phone rang. It was our neighbor. Our cows were out. I immediately assumed it was because the electric fence had shorted out in the flood. But when we went to retrieve the cows, we realized that as the flood waters were receding, they were exposing large sections where fencing no longer existed.

Using hay, Sarah lured the cows to the section of pasture farthest away from the damaged fencing as Mike came to the conclusion that it couldn't be fixed before the sun went down. Luckily we have temporary electric fencing that is very easy to put up quickly. Still he had to make some adjustments to get electricity where he needed it, and I was really grateful that he had not gone to work today. Shortly after the last rays of light were gone from the sky, he came inside and said that the cows should stay put now.

Even though I no longer feel guilty about asking him to stay home from work today, I'd have been happier if there hadn't been so much fencing damage and the cows had stayed home.


Donna OShaughnessy said...

Oh man, so sorry for your flood issues Deb! And tonight going to get cold I hear, gotta luv spring. (Not so much this year)

Patty said...

Oh boy! That looks bad. I'm suddenly thankful for the 18 inches or so of brand new snow on April 19th! All the goats are CRAZY tired of the barn though. I'm sure your critters are less than thrilled too. I hope it dries up quickly for you! :)

Holly said...

Send some our way please! We are just now getting some snow the past couple of weeks. We need moisture desperately and after years of drought our sagebursh is down to just nubbins. You can't see it at a distance. You have to walk over the top of it to find it. I guess it is the extremes that make you appreciate the normal. Hopefully the good Lord soon sees that you've had enough and gives you a break.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

You last posted on Thur. Do hope and pray that all is well and animals were safe as well as you and your family! God Bless!


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