Friday, July 8, 2011

Our Day in Pictures: 06/26/11

In case you haven't seen it on the news.....our region is experiencing something it's really never this scale...since 1952. The Missouri River is threatening (and has, in some cases, come through on it's threats). Sections of interstates are under water and closed. Entire towns are either under water, or WILL be under water soon. I've never seen so many sandbags in my life!!!!

My original home town is practically empty. A town of 300, reduced to just a few families sticking around...holding down the fort, so to speak. Waiting for levees to fail and the water to arrive. The levees are going one by one. Hundreds...thousands of people have been forced to evacuate. Their homes under water until December....if not longer.

My grandma still lives in my hometown. We emptied her house a few weeks ago, and she's staying with my sister and family. The somewhat larger town I moved to in second grade is also at risk. My parents still live there. They, fortunately, live on a hill. Unfortunately, all the routes in and out of town are slowly being eliminated and covered in water. I've never seen anything like it.

The Missouri has a chain of 6 (?) major dams along it's route. The flooding we're experiencing is from rainfall upstream. Snow melt hasn't even become a factor yet. It's nuts!!!!!!

Anyway, the last, and closest dam is about 3 hours north of the boys, Mot and I decided to road trip up to see it. They are pumping 164,000 cfs (cubic feet per second) through it's spillways right now.....and, from the sounds of it, could be increased again before this is all said and done.

(Side note: To help wrap your head around the amount of water flowing from the dam right now.......Gavins Point is releasing at a rate of 160,000 cfs. The flow rate of Niagara Falls during the daylight hours of tourist season is 100,000 cfs...and 50,000 the rest of the year.)

We stopped to eat breakfast at our favorite breakfast greasy spoon...then were on our way.

A stop at Starbucks once we reached Yankton, SD was necessary!! :-)

(The Starbucks was in HyVee. I really enjoy watching Curtis Stone on TV....but those HyVee commercials have GOT to go!!)

After we got our caffeine fix, we headed out of town to the dam.

The amount of people traveling to see it was amazing. License plates from everywhere were lined up along the roads.

The road over the top of the dam is open on the weekends, so we headed to the Nebraska side first.

We parked the car, walked around a little, took some pictures, then headed back across the dam to the South Dakota side. (I may or may not have had my arm well out of the car window, taking video of the water flowing below us as we drove back across. And Mot may or may not have had to yell "pole" every time a light pole would have taken my arm off.)

Once on the South Dakota side again, we had to park quite a ways away. On our way up to the viewing area, we walked along the banks of the river.


(Danny hangin' back, watching the show. It was quite a sight to see!!!)

(Mot and I wasted no time getting up the front. He was taking pics on his phone, while I was alternating between my camera and my video camera.)

(We were pretty well soaked through by the time we left. That water was COLD!!!)

Here is a video taken right in the splash zone of the spillway. It was impossible to get a video showing the power of what you see when you're there in person!!

Just watching the water rush by was making us all (well, not Mot...but the rest of us) a little seasick. And, the sun sparkling against the white foam on the water made it look like a river of diamonds.

And here is the last one taken while driving along the downtown street of my hometown of Missouri Valley. (The interstate is under water and detours from Omaha to the dam took us right near town.) Seeing the sandbags in front of all the stores, waiting to be placed, was a little creepy. The best part is McDonalds (about 2 min in).

So....after we left the dam, we went for lunch.

It wasn't so good. Buffet, blah...oh well.

But, while we were waiting for our table, I spied this flyer on the wall.

Your typical small town summer extravaganza.

Main attractions and pong and flippy cup. Niiiiiice!

After lunch, and on our way home, we hit the visitor center.

Danny spotted some Lewis and Clark dolls on a shelf.

Very lifelike and realistic....right down to the missing tooth???