After three months of anxiety, knowing that a major flood this spring was all but certain, it is finally upon us. In 1997 when the river crested at 39.7 feet, no one could have imagined that 12-15 years down the road, we'd express relief at a crest of 39 feet! But after 2009 (the highest crest in history at 40.8 feet - and perilously close to losing our cities), anything under 40 feet is met with relief! Simply stated, the communities along the Red River of the North have gotten darn good at fighting floods! Hundreds of improvements have been made to our infrastructure since 2009, a flood wall now winds its way through south Moorhead, eliminating a view of the river for home-owners, but also giving them significant protection during what has become an annual event. Hundreds of homes have been bought out by FEMA (110 of them in my neighborhood), which allows earthen dikes to be build along that land, giving us some measure of protection. Permanent flood protection (i.e. a diversion project) has been on the planning table for over two years now, but when you're dealing with two states, plus the federal government, and a price tag of 1.8 billion dollars, these things move slowly! But this is our third major flood in as many years, and we are tired.
Our biggest threat this year has been complacency. However, with a major flood a certainty, we got to work early and three MILLION sandbags had been filled by early March, eliminating the last-minute panic mode which has characterized some of our previous floods.
So we have now crested at just about 39 feet - which we expect to hold steady for several days since it's raining today - definitely not what we need, but meterologists don't think it will raise the crest; just prolong it. So viligance is the order of the day!
So .... to make a hard transition here to another topic ..... we have a mouse out in the radio station where I work. With an abundance of cords, wires and cables in every room, and multiple sightings of the little critter, we set some pretty sophisticated little traps - all to no avail. Apparently the little guy isn't hungry or else (shudder) he has found something else more tasty to snack on. So I brought Princess to work with me on Thursday. She loves to hunt field mice so I thought she would certainly catch the critter roaming our halls. Not only did she let him run right past her without flinching, but she sprung the trap and ate the peanut butter. She's been fired.