Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The End of the World. Or, that time I was glad I could swim, just in case.

If you want to talk about a bad day, perhaps you should not do so on my Facebook wall. Unless you're deaf, illiterate, or a hermit, you've probably heard about the massive flooding in my little town. I have a bunch of pictures I've taken off of other people's Facebook because I am not retarded and driving to the scenes of worst damage because I have paid attention when they say there are sinkholes. And anybody paying any kind of attention for the last oh, five years, knows that Duluth? Has a terrible road infrastructure that keeps getting delayed because nobody can afford to fix it. That just screams for sink holes. Anyways. Pictures. (In case you can't see the picture or it just shows lines, click on the picture once or twice and it should show up. Or, right click on it and choose "open image in new tab". That usually works.)

So guess what? Despite all of our bitching in the winter about Duluth being a hill, it turns out it does not matter. You can still flood.

And let me be clear- this all happened OVER NIGHT, bitches. We were all told we were maybe going to have some tornado warnings and most definitely severe thunderstorms. Which, we had been having spurts of for about a week and it's no big deal. We deal with that every year. What we don't deal with is THIS MUCH rain all in a matter of a few hours.

This morning we learned that our zoo, click here for link, was hit hard early on. The zoo itself is in kind of a valley and the walk ways occasionally wash out from a lot of rain but it's not anything major. So far eleven animals are confirmed dead from drowning with more to come because the zoo is still 3/4 under water. The worst hit was the barnyard animals (goats, sheep, donkey, etc). A seal got out (actually swam out over the zoo walls) and was eventually rescued from Grand Avenue.
 Here's a car dealership in Hermantown, which is basically the top of the hill. Show me the CarFax.
This is right next to my work. I had heard around 5am this morning that this road had washed out and Matt told me even if my work was open, I wasn't going. Fortunately they ended up closing the campus earlier this morning.
The road to Barker's Island in Superior completely washed away as well.
Here is the Superior Senior High School. This is close to East End of Superior where a lot of flooding has happened.
This is looking down into the mall area- you can see Target in the way back almost to the roof.
Here is some road damage from flooding in Duluth.
This is the "creek" that runs through the zoo. Obviously with water like that there wasn't much anybody could do.
One of the first sink holes to open up in Duluth.
This is in Superior near the high school. I still don't know why people are trying to drive through this shit.
This is really serious- the Thompson Dam. I read somewhere earlier that if this little damn gives in (damage being assessed right now) that SEVERAL communities will go underwater. Fortunately for me, that it's our town, but it's an area I used to live in.
More flooding in West Duluth, I believe.

Central Park in East End, Superior. You can just barely see the top of a fence here.
On top of flooding and sinkholes, we also have landslides.
The ironic part is that there have been questions about the integrity of some sewers in Duluth but this one held up better than the road.
One of our favorite restaurants, almost totally underwater.

The I-35 tunnels in Duluth. You take these to go up the North Shore. Pretty much every road leading north has been closed due to flooding, and parts of I-35S are closed as well. That's even worse because it's mostly under construction so with all of the flooding I imagine projects have been pushed back indefinitely.

I have so many friends who have flooded apartments, homes, and basements. Would you believe almost nobody has flood insurance because we are not a flood plain? This kind of thing is just not normal for here so  my heart breaks for everyone I know who is digging through their losses. There are many communities who have been evacuated or in the process of doing so because the uncertainty of dams holding up.

As for us? We are SO incredibly fortunate to apparently live in the least damaged area around. Despite being surrounded by pedophiles and rapists, our 'hood is not flooded easily. We've only had minimal water in our crawl space, no more than what we'd normally get for rain. Our sewers are all holding up just fine and our streets are totally dry. I ventured out for a bit to get my hair cut only because I was told Tower Avenue (the main drag through town) was fine and no problems. It's fucking WEIRD driving around town looking at what flood waters can actually do to a place. We're expected to get some more rain over night but hopefully nothing like we had last night and through most of today.

But what honestly made me really sad? The loss of the Jay Cooke Park Swinging Bridge.
We were literally JUST there on Sunday and my kids had the best time hopping across the bridge as it swayed. The fact that the water is high enough to take out the bridge is tremendous, because I have NEVER seen the water anywhere near that high. That bridge was HIGH off the top of the river.

So if you want to send some prayers and positive thoughts to the people around me, I'm sure they would be more than happy to take them.


middle child said...

"Show me the CarFax." I am sorry but I had to laugh outloud at that one.
I heard you got about 10" of rain. The pictures show the mess but not the poor people who have been devastated by this. I am glad you are safe but I pray for your friends, neighbors and community.

Julie H said...

God it's all so horrible. I hope no one was seriously injured and the water recedes soon, I can't even imagine.

Tina said...

Wishing everyone safe in Duluth. This is brutal to a community from personal safety to economic suffering. Be safe and know we are thinking of you.

Ang said...

it's so unbelievable, I can't even imagine what it must be like to be up there right now.
Steve and I love coming up to Duluth every summer and have a trip planned in a couple of weeks...
I'm DEEPLY saddened by the loss of animals at the zoo too.. poor things, there was absolutely nothing they could do. It just brings tears to my eyes. I've donated $50 to the zoo this morning and I just don't feel like that's enough. No amount of money will bring those little guys back :(
I wish I lived up there, I'd take a week off work and go help - in anyway I could.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

wow! I'm glad you all are in a safe area. Our prayers are with you all

Veronica M. D. said...

Ugh, I was showing Jeremy these pictures on your facebook last night. Just terrible. But I am SO glad your house it fine!!!

E said...

So sorry lady! That sucks. Stay safe and dry if you can. We had some flooding here awhile ago, but nothing compared to that. The zoo animals drowning makes me very sad.

Ashley said...

Holy cow, that is an unreal amount of damage...

Gini said...

THAT IS FUCKING INSANE. Heartfelt thoughts to Duluth area residents!

Ruth said...

A friend of mine posted some pictures up there. The road they live on got a sinkhole, but their house is fine. So bad!

____j said...

That is so crazy! I hate that this is happening, but I am glad that you & your family are okay.

Unknown said...

my lord that was unbelievable. I've never seen anything like it before. I hope and pray that people who have lost property can find the help to rebuild. How the hell is the city going to pay to fix the roads that split like that? It looks like someone angered some deity pretty damn badly. I'm soooo glad that you guys are safe!