27 MAR 2009
I have a little more sense of security for the neighborhood right now. Why, you ask.
We live two blocks from the middle school they are using for evacuations from other parts of the city.
Tom was able to get a generator at Menards and a back up sump pump if ours, which is now nine years old, fails. The vehicles are filled with gas and can be used in the generator.
We agreed the generator was first line defense to protect the heating system. It is a difference of $600 and $6000 or more dollars. We can also run two sumps, if necessary.
The Fargodome is full of sand bags. The dome is in North Fargo. No one except from North Fargo is encouraged to go to there to work. Why? Because of the traffic ban on major through routes needed to breeze through town with trucks and heavy equipment.
Although there is no water in the areas that were evacuated last night, it was the best move for the safety of the people living near the river and in an assisted living building.
Meritcare moved 170 patients out of Fargo to hospitals in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Bismarck, and Sioux Falls. This impressive effort was done in six hours. The shot of a line of ambulances, helicopters, and buses was impressive. Trauma centers at Merit Care and Innovis remain open. Innovis is much higher ground and will not close. Two commercial planes are landing at the airport today to carry more vulnerable adults to additional facilities as far away as Iowa.
The dike patrol, which is police, fireman, city employees, and 1,700 National Guard, will walk 58 miles of river and canals looking for problematic areas. One of the problems is the bags were placed on frozen ground, the water level as thawed the ground making seepage from underneath a possibility. We need to realize the troops are also bringing in equipment.
Volunteers filled a half a million sand bags yesterday, a huge step up after filling just 3 million in five days. They will remain in the dome until called for as at 12 degrees, even cooler than yesterday, they will freeze like bricks.
The phone rang last night after we were a sleep. It was the RED CODE which is a recording asking for help. They can dispense 60,000 calls in minutes. It was not near us, rather by the water and waste plant. Actually, the message was to tell us what was happening, as at the latest news conference last night, the no volunteers were allowed to sand bag after dark for their safety. It took awhile to understand that. We opened the laptop and read what we had heard on the phone. It was a fitful night, and as I told Shirley, Tom and I held hands all night, lest we float away, we were going to do it together.
One of the things I admire about the people in charge is how they crush any rumors that may start. For example, when parts of Moorhead, our sister city was to evacuate, the rumor was the power company was going to cut their power whether they stayed or not. The power will remain on unless the owner requests a shut off. And of course, you can throw your breakers yourself, just don't be standing in water when you do it, DUH!!???
A twelve year old who was sandbagging at the dome, told Senator Pomeroy that he was doing this because it was his duty. And that is why Tom was there too. That is why another person butters 6,500 sandwiches.
His name is Tim Mahoney. He is general surgeon at Innovis. But for now, he is a well spoken, get on his toes type of leader who stands shoulder to shoulder with our mayor. Between the two of them, it is known we are focused on saving what we have protected and the cold weather is a break for us. Walaker said Fargo had everything thrown at us except a tornado, from the audience someone said he better not say that out loud. He promised he wouldn't.
And so dear people, for now, it is stand and defend. For us, that means installing a plug in the sewer drain, learning how the generator works. Make ready the second sump pump and stay well, hold hands and hug. We don't think our house will be compromised but we had to think it through. Think about this, we don't have little kids and pets to worry about it. The two of us will just creak to a vehicle and get out of Dodge.
Peace to all who enter in.