Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Flood watch 2009

It's that lovely time of year again here in Manitoba.
As the snow and ice melts, it brings tons of water from the rivers and the surrounding area.
Our neighbours to the South in Grand Forks ND have the same experiences every year.

Our Province bought an additional "Ice buster" this year. It's a modified back hoe with inflatable platforms, and it goes out and breaks up the ice before the dreaded ice jams begin.

I wonder why people continue to build and live along these flood ways. I guess it's the same reason why people rebuild in tornado alley. Stupidity.
I agree that maybe after you fix your house and property after the first flood, you may decide to stay put. My question is - if you know that it's going to happen again, why would you not begin sand bagging around your house and set up pumps before the shit hits the fan?

There were a few people interviewed on the news tonight. They said that they are not worried about the flood, and they are not preparing for the worst case scenario. These are people who have already suffered lots of damage from the first flood. Stupid. I hope these people do not get insurance coverage for their laziness.

During the devastating flood of 1997, I was volunteering here in Winnipeg while I was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces.
They put us up in an Armoury with about 500 other military personnel, and we alternated from sand bagging duties, to delivering supplies, and manning the radios.

One particular night, I was driving with my commanding officer to a Southern part of the city.
We were on security patrol, as there was no power in the community, and the residents were ordered to evacuate.
I had directions to get to our command post, but all I had to go on was a light on a generator set off in the distance.
The river had swelled well over 10 feet past the banks, and by this time, my headlights were under the murky, cold, fast flowing water.
In our military "Iltis" jeeps, there are fording plates which we fix to the front of the vehicle. As long as the air intake just below the windshield stays dry, the jeep continues to run - even being submerged.
The water was pushing the jeep to the left, and by this time it was almost up to my armpits. I continued to head straight for the lights ahead, with the theme from "Jaws" playing in my head. I was picturing that ride in Disney World where Jaws comes up and bites the boat.
It was an eerie feeling, not being able to see anything ahead of you, your headlights under water, and being tits deep in spring melt water.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, as we were sand bagging later that night, the Labatt brewery truck pulled up.
They started off loading cases of beer, free for anyone to take. We were quickly reminded that this was a "dry exercise", therefore we could not have any alcohol. All of the civilians who were out helping dropped what they were doing, hoisted as much beer as they could carry, and continued to drink all of the beer while we continued to build up the temporary walls of defense.

Oh, I also got some mystery immunizations while on exercise. To this day, they never told us what the shots were for, or what possible long term effects they may have on us.

1 comment:

Chief Rock Chef said...

You still get stuff like this in Canada? I would have thought that there was enough space to leave a nice wide flood plain around the rivers to avoid having houses flooded. Over here they are still deliberately building in places that flood. So dumb.