I haven't blogged in awhile, and I promise over the next month I'll get everything caught up (Starfest, Robocon, Droidcon, Contagion Con, getting AL's dome to rotate, etc). However, I'm going to blog today about something that is painful for me to watch: the Great Missouri Flood.
Every year I take a road trip to Omaha to visit my friends and attend a con or two. Sometimes I'll go twice. Last week I attended the very first ever Contagion:Outbreak con, with AL in tow,at the fairly new and awesome Qwest Center, Omaha's new premier convention center . The R2-Central had a very strong showing and was one of the hits of the con. The Qwest Center overlooks the Missouri, so Denny took me to the glass wall to see the river. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! A fairly large metal sculpture was half-way under water, the boat docks were sinking, islands of trees half submerged, and the scariest was how fast the river was flowing. And that was just Saturday morning! By Sunday afternoon the water was within feet of the top of the levee on the Iowa side (Corps of Engineers had been sandbagging all weekend to keep it from collapsing).
Usually after a con we gather for a final feast at some restaurant. This was no different, so off to the Buffalo Wing Stop for burgers and wings. Our spirits were a little better, until Brad showed us a video on his iphone of billions of gallons of water rushing down the river in a heavy torrent. The flood gates were opened wide on a damn in S. Dakota, and the water was coming fast! By the next morning it arrived in Omaha and the towns south.
The big national news was the levee break in Hamsburg (?), Iowa, just south of Bellevue where Moose, Jen, and Brad live. My heart sank while watching the video of the levee breaking on the news. I knew then the BIG flood was upon the farming towns and communities along the Missouri.
This morning I checked my facebook, and I would like to repost a link of one man's arial photography of the damage done by the flood:
This is just one pic on another friend's facebook:
The skyscrapers in the background are downtown Omaha. The campground and river park in Bellevue, just a block from Moose is totally underwater. On Monday when Moose and I took our walk to the river, the water was up to the top of the bathroom door signs, roofline barely above water. Many farms are gone, I-29 is practically closed, most bridges are closed, sandbagging everywhere, railroad tracks being pulled up just to save the ties, people losing homes or wondering if they'll have a home after all this.
The Missouri is suppose to peak by today, Friday. Then hopefully the very long dry out. Unfortunately, with it still snowing in the mountains, and the snowmelt just getting started, I'm afraid more flooding is on the way. I'm still crying, and I pray for my friends and their families, and all the good people of Iowa and Nebraska along the river.
Until next time, may God and his angels keep watch over the people of the Missouri river,
p.s. Larry Geiger, who took the arial photos, is allowing free use of these photos provided you donate to the Red Cross Flood Relief fund. I think that is generous and fair.