The emails from 1997 continue.
Subject: Flood Stage 1 1/2 almost an island
Hello everyone! Hope you are safe and dry! We are ok for the moment!
Mom and Dad got out yesterday, we sent Trica and Dick and Savannah to Grand Forks this morning, they have no elec or water at Buxton.
The water is rising and the road is almost blocked, the last way out of here is almost under water. Today Gene is trying to thaw out sand bags in the garage, it is only 12 degrees here. We still need to lay bags across the driveway.
For now the the duck boat that we got from Mom and Dad is useless because of the ice out there. We have one vehicle on dry high ground.
We are all set with food etc… we have made all the preparations that we can.
Mom and Dad were coming back tonight but I called them and told them to stay in Osage, so I hope they do.
The Sheyenne isdue to crest late today or tomorrow, the Red on Friday or Saturday so we should be through the worst of this by April 17, it seems like a long way away.
I will try to keep you informed daily, if you don’t hear from us, either we are too busy or exhausted, or have been evacuated. The Fargo Forum has an online page called in forum and it has a flood page if you all are interested.
Take Care! Gene and Connie
On the garage side of the house facing the cul de sac. You can see a load of class five gravel in the driveway…they ran out of sand so used class five. It has rocks in it…it freezes really hard.
I think Gene walked out through the ice and water to get some sand bags from someone. In our planning we did not account for wet feet all day every day. I rigged up the inside of his boots with garbage bags to keep his feet dry. (Later my Mom would deliver a pair of hip waders for him and new waterproof boots for me.)
That is our house with the star. This photo was taken from a boat or high dry land just east of us.
Harvey (next door neighbor) my Dad and Far Guy is in the duck boat with the wheel barrow.
This is the last road out.
Thawing out sand for sandbags was the pits. We kept a pallet of sandbags in the garage but with the temperatures so low they froze. A frozen sandbag does you no good…they have to be unfrozen to conform to the bag or ground that they are sitting on to get a good seal and to form a good barrier from the water.
We would dump part of a bag into the wheelbarrow and then with a heat gun that was supposed to be used to remove varnish from furniture and a torch we thawed out many sandbags one by one in our garage. Once they were all thawed out we would place them before they froze again.
At one point we had no bags and no unfrozen sand.
Our plan was to keep one vehicle inside the garage incase we needed to get out quick, and we could also siphon gas out of the tank should we run out of gas for the gas motor in our pump. One vehicle was on high ground, we could get there by boat when the ice thawed. Our plan was to keep all the animal with us. We had two birds a Budgie named Charlie, a Cockatiel named Pearl and three Shelties; Moses, Captain and G’ Day Mate. Then we heard on the news that people would be rescued but pets would be left behind should the flood get to catastrophic levels. I told Far Guy I was not leaving without the animals.