Some reports from the National Weather Service said it had crested already at 12:15 a.m. Saturday at 40.82 feet. By early Sunday, the Red River had dropped to 40.25 feet. City officials tell us there is more water south of town that needs to flow through the Red - so we are cautiously optimistic that it will not crested to the dreaded 43 feet that was once predicted.
By yesterday, I had sent the girls to friends' homes that are away from the river. They needed a break and I think the stress that we were feeling was getting to them. They seem to be having a good time elsewhere and it has made life easier for us. School has been called off already in the Fargo area for next week too.
For right now, our main course of action is dike patrol. As a neighborhood, we have to "man" our own dikes 24 hours a day for seepage and of course, breaches. Shifts are divided into 2-hour increments - four people are needed per shift. We were told that all shifts were covered until this coming Tuesday - which is fantastic.
Kyle and I had our shift last night from 6-8 p.m. Although I was on patrol, I couldn't help but bring my camera. This is a historic event. The photo above is Kyle checking one of the sump pumps.
The sun was still shining when we went out but toward the end of our shift it was bitter cold. The routine is that you walk the 3-block route and check the bags and the sump pumps. There is seepage from the bottom that is pretty much contained with the pumps and is considered normal. We were told to look for "sabatoge" of bags from the dike (who would do that?!?!?) and leaks from the middle of the sandbag pile.
We were met by National Guardsman on a couple of occasions. They were here from South Dakota helping with the effort. We still have roads closed into our development and the Guard is still cornered at each entry. It is a comfort to know they are there if something should go wrong.
The Red Cross has been so good to us! They have been here several times, leaving all kinds of food, water and cold and warm beverages for us - even for us on dike patrol! They dropped off warm roast beef sandwiches for us yesterday (which were delicious, by the way). I talked to one of the workers and he said that the area "church ladies" donated an astounding 2,000 sandwiches in one day to them.
One of the the main pumps in our development - notice the water that is being pumped back into the river.
This is one of the main houses that we sandbagged around. It is at the end of our cul-de-sac and if this dike was breached - we would have the river pouring down the street toward us. That is Kyle checking one of three sump pumps at the owner's house.
I'm sure this archway was quite a ways from the river at one point.
A long and winding trail of sandbags protects the cul-de-sac on our street.
This was a routine sight for the last week, mounds and mounds of sand on our street, waiting to be bagged and placed behind these rows of houses. We had about 100 people making sandbags for the last three days. Saturday was the first day we didn't have to do it. This sand is for us if we have an emergency. After this ordeal, the only sand I want to see is the stuff you find in Mexico!
The flood has also disrupted the natural habitat of the deer. Instead, they have found solace in our backyard. This has been a common scene this week. We have had as many as 9 deer in our yard - eating berries that have fallen from one of our trees (that I would LOVE to remove from our landscape - but that's a different story). The problem I have is that they are eating some of my ground cover on my garden beds and I don't want them to think this is an OK feeding spot for the future. They are driving Sasha nuts! Oh well, unique circumstances, right?!?!?
Thanks again for your concern and prayers ... it is much appreciated and best of all, I think it is working! We are putting up a valiant fight ....