Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fargo, ND flood

I must apologize to those of you whose blogs I regularly read and comment on, and apologize for lack of posting. I've been swamped with work as of late, and been working 12-13 hour days away from home. For those of you who don't know, I am an insurance adjuster. I've been away at Fargo, ND, and outlying suburbs handling claims for flooding. The Red River is Fargo's main concern right now, although other rivers, ditches, and just about anything that could flood here has. The Red River is now being estimated to crest at 43 feet. If this happens, and they don't get the dikes built high enough, fast enough, the whole city of Fargo will potentially flood. The dikes were only going to be able to handle 41 feet. Thank God for the fact that Fargo has three colleges around, and almost all of the students pitched in to lend a hand for several days sand bagging, and building up the dikes. There has been help from all over the country helping sand bagging. It is truly amazing what people will do for each other. Regarding sand bags, some trivia for you...From what I'm told, it takes approximately 70 sand bags to raise the dike one foot, and that is only for one foot of width. This is due to the pyramid effect of the sand bag dike construction. That my friends is a lot of friggin sand bags. Right now, I'm dealing with flooded basements, failing sump pumps, and sewage back up claims, not whole flooded houses. Hopefully I won't have to deal with whole flooded houses. I hope it doesn't go there. The flood waters are right up to the road sides in many areas, and fields look like the great lakes. Furthermore to insult to injury, we just had a blizzard two days ago, and it has snowed almost continually since then. Only the main roads are getting any plow service, as they have the city crews concentrating on building and maintaining dikes, not plowing streets. This makes for some awfully slow going, and the roads are slippery with compacted snow turned into ice. If you slide off the road, in many areas, you're going to go right into cold flood waters. I saw a truck in a flooded ditch yesterday. I've seen flooded tractors, and all kinds of things like it here. Then to top it all off, there are closed roads that are under water all over. The detouring you have to do to get around here, on top of the poor road conditions, is making the claims handling process go very slow. There are some areas with claims that we can't even get to until the water recedes. Oh yeah, don't forget about the fact that more snow, means more melt off to help feed the river. It's been really cold, so hopes are it stays this way until the river recedes a bit, and then melts SLOWLY. One problem they are having with the cold though is that frozen sand is not as water tight as wet soft sand. They dikes are leaking in some areas due to this. There was also an ice flow that damaged part of one of the dikes that needed repair. All in all this is just plain NOT GOOD!

I'm getting excited that I get to go home this weekend to see my family. But I am behind on home life in general, so no chance to get caught up on the internet.

I miss all of you, my internet buddies. I look forward to getting caught up, "someday". I'm on call to go back up to Fargo, and handle claims again depending on volume. I pray for the folks here that I don't have to come back to handle a total city flood.

When I get a chance, I'll try to post some pictures. I've got some really cool ones.


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