Thursday, March 26, 2009

Code Red

This is the sandbag line going to build the contingency dike now needed as a back-up to the first dike. With both boys at home I had little choice but to stay close to home this morning, as we would otherwise be in the way of some critical work being done.

As I stood in the backyard looking at all the volunteers streaming in, my phone rang. I looked at the number... 911 and some other 9's. Code red. It was a recorded message that said "Prepare to evacuate if you live... " well right where we live. The next call we will get will be the "go" call. While no dike has been breached, with visions of the hurricane Katrina evacuation running through our heads, we can't be too prepared.  And yet, the parts of the highway still open, are already clogged with cars.  

I don't know what to even think, but autopilot has kicked in. We've brought what we can upstairs. We've packed our bags and got our paperwork in order. We know and feel we still have a fighting chance and nobody is throwing in the towel. We've been out sandbagging most of the afternoon, what our aching backs and weary minds will allow us to do.

The jokes are still flying along the lines. We were talking about our lack of showers. I said I broke down after three days and showered today, and the man next to us said he'd once gone 110 days. We all said what? 110 days, why, where were you? And with the wind whipping, I kid you not we thought he said Iowa. And we were like, the last time we checked Iowa was fairly civilized with showers and all... but it turns out he had said Iraq, and that just made a whole lot more sense. Sure was good for a hearty laugh though.

But there is still concern. We just heard the new prediction is 42 feet... which doesn't even register anymore. Because the very last two pictures are of the seepage occurring from the dike we built on Sunday. And for every foot up we have to build, we have to widen the base by that much more to support it. Look at how high those firemen are standing on that dike... I can't even fathom how high the water is on the other side. And they've made good on their promise. The last person they caught going on a dike to look at the water, is in jail. So I am limited in what I can physically get to.  I'll just take their word for it. 

Thank you everyone for the calls and the emails and the friends who drove all the way over here to just check up on us :) We appreciate all of your concern and will do our best to keep you posted on our whereabouts.

And this is the "vital" stuff the kids want to "save" from the flood. Hockey sticks and stuffed animals. What 8 and 6 year old wouldn't think these are vital?


  1. VICKY, Vicky, heart just aches for you right now and I'm in tears. Especially at the site of what the boys are bringing. The things that seem so important to them.

    We are still praying AGAINST that level of river rise and hope against hope that all the hard work will keep it from overflowing and will have been a wonderful testimony to what neighbor can do for neighbor. I am worried about you. Will you go to family? Are there relatives nearby who are not in danger and can house you? NO ONE wants to go to a Red Cross shelter, although I'm grateful it will be there for those who need it.

    Praying, praying, safe, my friend. I pray blessings on each one of you and that God will have wonderful fruit born out of this immense hardship.

    With Love,


  2. Please LEAVE NOW!

    I've experienced loads of hurricanes, but this scares the daylights out of me!

    Go - put your stuff and your family, in the car and go!

    I don't want you to wait until it's too late.

    So go...okay?

  3. I've got two couches and some floor space if you need a change of scenery...

    ... I promise we in Iowa will let you shower. We ARE that civilized! :)

    Kiddo, I hate hate hate that you're going through this right now, but am praying the sandbags are enough and that your home, even if you have to leave it, remains safe and dry. Please, above all else, BE SAFE.

    And I'm not kidding about the space on my floor.

  4. Thinking of you Vicky! I wish I could help....if you need a place to stay, you are welcome here, even though my kids might drive you crazy :)
    Thad just informed me that he is working later,etc. I just feel for the residents. I hate feeling so darn helpless.

  5. Yikes and Yikes and Yikes (or maybe its Dikes and Dikes and Dikes) -- sort of the words that describe FM right now. I just keep thinking that this probably would have been our week to get ready for our vacation - this is not the kind of water that we had in mind! It is smart to be ready to go if need be -- in the land of stubborn northern midwestern Norwegians - if that is the case there truly is no hope -- because the fighting will continue until the bitter end. Thinking about all of you....K

  6. Praying that you don't have to go. I'm just amazed it's come to this. All the hard work by the community...well, I'm praying that work will pay off and you will all get to stay. A miracle that's what I'm praying for.
    love to you and stay safe...


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