The picture out the window

If some young man in Fargo Moorhead can’t buy a corsage for his date for the prom, this is why…


The Red River can’t fit under the bridge on 60th Ave South, south of Moorhead anymore, so it’s taking the long way around and cutting off the home of John and Cecelia Beecher. Cecelia is a florist and if she leaves to go to work — she makes most of the corsages at her shop — she might not be able to get home. Her employer, figuring the floods might disrupt things, cut the number of corsage orders she’d accept in half.

That leaves Cecelia too much time to sit home and look out the picture window at her house. She’s the worrier in the family, a worthy yin to John’s yang of calm, at least when it comes to the flood.


In the more rural part of Clay County, preparing for a flood is a different animal from the cities. Nobody delivers sandbags; nobody delivers sand. Volunteers often don’t show up.

This year, the Beechers’ neighbor bought a load of sand, and the sheriff’s department brought some “volunteers” over to fill the bags…


The house (shown below from the vantage point on the closed bridge) should be fine. It’s on fairly high ground. That wouldn’t be the case had ice not left the river a day or so ago. An ice jam would’ve left the neighborhood in a bad way.


Even so, some neighbors are underwater…


The Red is staging a fairly aggressive assault this year. Compare the height today…


With where it stood in February…


The channel is well beyond the trees in the background, and far below the deck of the bridge.

The Beechers think the water might be starting to recede (although the depth of the water I walked through to get to the home had risen a bit by the time I left), allowing them to think about the clean-up. The media doesn’t usually show up to cover the deconstruction of sandbag dikes, but it’s work that’s often the hardest part of the flood.

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