Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mountain Heatwave

Yesterday was another 92-93 degree day and there seems to be no end in sight unless the promised rain comes by the end of next week.

My bosses horse ran 3rd, so he was pleased and I managed to get some gardening done before the permanent migraine debilitated me to the point where I could no longer stand up. Keeping my balance at the best of times is getting so hard.

I spent the night just trying to get rid of a medical problem I have not been able to control in 3 years. By midnight I was awakened as the pain increased, and have been violently ill ever since.

I never thought I would die homeless in the United States.
When my mother left the United States in 2007 I never even considered that this would be the very last time I would see her alive.
It never even crossed my mind that anxiety, stress and fear could kill you...

But it's all my reality today.
The phone company arrived on Thursday to make repairs to the phone wires inside my bosses home. I have had a 200 ft phone wire strung across to the shed, a system that gave a poor internet connection and was difficult to maintain. During the conversation between the repairman and my boss a DSL package was sold.

It became clearly obvious that the repairman didn't understand that this is a garden shed that I am living in. Yesterday morning he walked in and tried to get through the boxes of belonging before realizing that this 57 year old woman is actually living in this mess. I suspect he thought that I came here to work, then went home.

Having been water soaked so often the shed smells a bad as anything I have ever had to deal with before, but mold and sewage is soaked into the building and concrete that it would be virtually impossible to remove. The wildlife who walk in and out simply compound a terrible problem.

So I left embarrassed while the two repair men installed DSL into a garden shed I am frantically trying to get out of. This wasn't my life before hiring Robert Huckins to build a 1,700 sq foot home, but it is today.

So I suspect that the joke of today is that I now have DSL. I have been in this shed when it was 25 below zero, with no heat. It's now in the 90's, without any way to cool it. I have seen it with 7 inches of water soaking everything.. mud & raw sewage flowing through. The degree of anxiety and stress I have experienced each summer trying to get into a home on that land is beyond cruel. I miss my mother more than I can even verbalize and it's destroying me not to have a home for her to come to. Today I may be no closer to a home, and I'm feeling the pressure but I do have DSL.

Water Filling 2,500 Homes In Minot As River Rises

MINOT, N.D. – The Souris River's full weight hit Minot on Friday, swamping an estimated 2,500 homes as it soared nearly 4 feet in less than a day and overwhelmed the city's levees. City officials said they expected more than 4,000 homes to be flooded by day's end.

More than a quarter of the city's 40,000 residents evacuated earlier this week, packing any belongings they hoped to save into cars, trucks and trailers.

"The river's coming up rapidly," Mayor Curt Zimbelman said. "It's dangerous and we need to stay away."

Fed by heavy rains upstream and dam releases that have accelerated in recent days, the Souris surged past a 130-year-old record Friday and kept going. The river was nearly 5 feet above major flood stage Friday afternoon and expected to crest over the weekend after reaching more than 8 1/2 feet beyond major flood stage.

The predicted crest was lowered a foot based on new modeling by the National Weather Service, but it was little consolation in Minot.

"This has been a very trying time for our community," Zimbelman said. "It's emotionally draining for all of us."

As they had the past two days, emergency officials focused on protecting water and sewer systems to avoid the need for more evacuations. They were confident about the water system, but a little less so about the sewer treatment plant. It had been sandbagged as high as possible.

Also of concern was the Broadway Bridge, a key north-south route. Levees protecting the northern approach were being raised, but Army Corps of Engineers Lt. Col. Kendall Bergmann said it was touch and go. The levee work also protected the campus of nearby Minot State University.

Members of the state's congressional delegation pressed for a federal emergency declaration making people eligible for individual assistance, a step they said was needed for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to set up transitional housing centers.

Sen. John Hoeven said a helicopter flight over the Souris valley showed damage to smaller cities nearby. He estimated more than 5,000 homes in the valley would eventually have water damage, including those in Minot and Burlington, where officials gave up sandbagging Thursday.

Deputy auditor Cindy Bader estimated Friday that more than half of the Burlington's 1,000 residents had left to escape the rising Souris River.

Burlington's city hall, school and police and fire departments appeared safe, but some homes in the evacuation zone had water up to their first floors and higher. In one neighborhood, the tops of two traffic signs barely peeked above the brown, brackish water, which reached just beneath the eaves of two nearby houses.

Wayne Walter, a Burlington city councilman and truck driver for a snack food company, said residents were stunned by the river's rapid rise.

"When we went to bed last night, and when we got up this morning, it was a big difference," Walter said Friday. "Down by the dikes, we saw it just trickling over (Thursday night). This morning, everything was gone."

Walter said he lived across the street from the evacuation area, and the Souris was still about 4 feet from his own home.

"Right now, we're staying there, but we've got the camper packed," he said. "They tell us to leave, we're gone."

Back in Minot, a car parked near the Broadway Bridge was dry Friday morning but submerged by midday. Nearby, about a half-dozen gophers found themselves stranded in a small and shrinking dry patch. Furniture store workers cheered as one of the gophers swam 20 yards to safety.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service launched four boats to patrol flooded neighborhoods and respond to 911 calls. City officials said no injuries or incidents had been reported by Friday afternoon. The evacuation zone was empty except for emergency officials and some geese, who paddled in about 5 feet of water washing down the streets.

George Moe, 63, whose house was about a block from the water's edge, returned briefly Friday to pick up some keys. Moe said the only thing left in his house was the mounted head of an antelope shot by his wife, who died about three years ago.

Moe worried about the home he's lived in for four decades and the shop where he works as a mechanic; it was taking on water and he wasn't sure he'd have a job after the flood.

"I hate to see something go to hell after 40 years," he said. "There ain't much you can do."

Watching all of these disasters is unfathomable. We no longer see the tornado victims in the news, but think about them often. How can so many people be thrown into despair at the same time, and where is God in all of this?

If Malcolm Huckins, Dr. Kenneth Ogilvie, Patricia Ogilvie-Huckins has any power to demand that your brother, cousin, son return our building fund I plead with you to exercise that power. We have paid the dues of this crime many times over and I can't face another winter homeless, or see my mother die without having had the time to spend with her family. This theft has stolen so much from us.

I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life. I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow creatures happy. ~ Thomas Paine