Thursday, March 26, 2009

Red River Flood

The Army Corps of Engineers is warning the people of Fargo and others along the Red River that it will crest over 41 feet and could reach 43 feet. I don’t care what your belief is but either send a prayer or a positive thought to the people of Fargo. They are fighting for their homes and their city. They are doing it the way Americans have always done it—by standing shoulder to shoulder with people they may never see again. It does not matter whether they are Democrats or Republicans, gay or straight, hunter or anti-hunter, they are all Americans and they are in a fight for an American city that is in peril. I’ve been all over the world and I’ve always been amazed by our willingness to set aside all differences and stand together, even when it is against the odds.

If they get the dikes high enough and if the dikes hold back the ice cold waters of the Red for the duration of its long crest then Americans will have witnessed a triumph of spirit over adversity that this nation has not seen in quite some time. The experts who know dikes and floods are quietly admitting the people are fighting against all the odds.

The next time the nightly news shows video of Fargo think about what you are watching. A nine-year old filling a sandbag, his grandfather tying it and handing it to high school student with a pierced nose who hands it to a college student who passes it to a homeowner, to someone who lives in a bare-bulb apartment and it goes down the line. Every person in that line, from the truck to the dike, has a different story, a different life and politics, but when nature turns on their town these people join together to save homes they will never step inside, business where they cannot afford to shop and apartments they wish were in another block. But for the present there is nothing more important than saving their town—their homes and the homes of others and God willing they will do it.

I think that is what makes us special as Americans.

6 comments:

Marty McFly said...

This is very moving, thank you for the insights. We had to evac. yesterday evening and the sense of abandoning a community who pulled together to fight this thing off is considerably more difficult than the sense of leaving our property and belongings.
-Kari

Chas S. Clifton said...

For vivid language, I like the Fargo woman who told an interviewer that the sandbagging work was like tossing frozen turkeys for hours at a stretch.

Is your town an island yet?

Chas S. Clifton said...

And here is a great photo collection.

Blessed said...

It reminds me of how the country banded together after 9/11/01 - if only that unity, understanding and sense of community would last.

Galen Geer said...

Marty, You've got a lot of people praying and thinking positive thoughts for you and everyone else in the region. I truly, truly hope your house was spared any serious damage. Galen

Galen Geer said...

Chas, I saw that segment and had to laugh. It reminded me of the story about the guy who was using the American air cannon to fire chickens at safety glass trying to break it. When he took the cannon back to the lab he got it from someone asked how it worked and he said it was fine and his glass never broke then he said something about the mess and he was told that the chickens were supposed to be frozen. No, I don't remember the specifics of the story but you get the idea.

We're not an island yet but Mayville is having flood problems and the bridge to the north of us has water flowing over it and the streams east of us are still over their banks. Weather people are saying the moisture from the snow we have and the coming storm should not push the water up much higher. We'll see. Galen