Riverview Circle comes alive


Left for dead this morning, Riverview Circle is coming to life. Down the street they’re building sandbag dikes around the front of several houses, whose dikes in the back yard are in peril. That means truckloads of sandbags are heading back in to the neighborhood for the fight.


And — even more encouraging — volunteers are being allowed in:


Next door, John Brummer is feeling better. With the sandbags being brought in, and an obviously high-ranking fire department official intervening, a pallet-load of bags has stemmed the flow from the uncovered city drain. There’s hope.


The man nearest the camera, by the way, is one of the unsung heroes of Riverview Circle. I know him only as “Dean from the fire department.” He’s been here with these few houses every day and every moment since the dike work started. He can make things happen, and he has.

Here is the problem they’ve been dealing with over at John’s. The storm drains run from the street, though John’s driveway and into the river. There’s a “check valve” installed that prevents water from coming back through the storm drain system when the river comes calling. But the valve is located between the street and this manhole cover, not between the manhole cover and the river.

Why did they do it that way? “We didn’t think the river would get this high,” one of the firemen speculated.

Todd Morse came in a few minutes ago, long enough to check everyone’s favorite Web page, the hydrology report.

“They’re still projecting 42 feet,” he said. I couldn’t tell whether he was encouraged or disappointed by that. I checked the measurement outside a half hour ago. The river has not gone up at all today; but it hasn’t gone down either.

“I’ll take that,” Adam Stewart said to me. “Thank God it’s cold.” And it is. The water that’s getting through — by whatever means — is freezing fairly quickly. But the sun is out, the volunteers are coming , the heavy equipment is moving, and the sense is that all is not lost.

By the way, we are all very cheered by your best wishes. Chad, commenting upthread, said he felt like a jerk sitting in his cubicle. I know what you mean. Every now and again, I come in from sandbagging or trying to help out in order to post, and I feel guilty that I’m inside and everyone’s outside working. But these people — the Johnsons, the Brummers, and the Morses — have been entirely gracious allowing me to intrude, and they’d be last the people to tell you you’re a jerk for being in a cubicle, and doing what you can to help — even if it’s just sending best wishes and good thoughts.

(See all Riverview Circle posts so far)


  • Carol

    Thank you Bob for taking a break from the fight to post news for those of us who can’t be there. It is a very helpless feeling. I can feel a heavy sigh from everyone, knowing today the river hasn’t come up and volunteers are back!! God Bless!

  • Thank you for keeping us up to date with everything that’s happening. I know we all wish we could be there to help!

  • Mary

    Thanks, Bob, for your stories, photos, and videos. Prayers to all of those fighting the good fight at Riverview Circle. It is unbelievable what you all are going through!

  • Kevin

    That’s good news Bob! Keep up the good work.

    For future thought … these folks are going to need a lot of help getting this mess all cleaned up too. Since some of us can’t make it up there now, is there a way for us to help out after the waters subside and take all of those sandbags away? Not sure if that can be coordinated by City Hall, CC or MSU, but wanted to get us all thinking about how our help can be used not only now, but in the coming months as well.

    Best wishes to you all!

  • MR

    Thank you for your great coverage, Bob.

    Best wishes to the residents you’re working with. We’re all thinking of you.

  • Lori

    Thank you for the updates! We are praying for you all!

  • Leigh Dotson

    it has been surreal to watch this ordeal unfold online, but i am glad to hear that you are finding small victories in this battle. i have faith that your efforts will pay off! love, leigh