Monday, June 25, 2012

Jay Cooke, Thomson MN Flood: Clean up begins

Tools of the job.  Rubber boots and chainsaws

Life begins to move on and the kids drive it forward

Pete Koski's rider shot into Jay Cooke State Park from a 1/4 mile away

Again, sorry for the lack of posts.  Life has been on fast forward since I was last able to gain internet access.  When I last posted we were waiting out the crest of the St.Louis River.  It took until Sat afternoon for the water to drop behind the dikes of the res.  Once it did it was a matter of less than an hour for the main flows through town to stop.  I paddled to our house at 6am and drove in at 1pm.  The river is still at record levels but I feel like we are well past the exposure we were dealing with earlier in the week.

It was such a bizarre existence from Tuesday until Sat.  My only tools for travel were my canoe and my bike.  On top of that I was constantly on the sharp end, or at least felt that way.  It was a adrenaline high for a week straight and I came to remember and realize that I operate at full capacity in that type of situation.  I have been in a few life threatening situations in my life and have had the same realization.  However, now after four days of living on that juice, the hangover has begun.  When the events are happening you are basically a spectator, once they stop the hard work of digging out begins and the grief and depression comes with it.

Marg and I came out unscathed.  It is unbelievable the bullet we dodged.  Because of that we both have been going full tilt trying to help our neighbors who were not so lucky.  I spent most of Sunday either at the city hall helping haul Red Cross supplies or with people at the homes digging for lost items and helping them dry stuff out.  To bring our community back to its state of operation we are all going to have to work really hard.  The FEMA process is complicated and time consuming and we have a volunteer government to make it happen.  Because of that I hope to lend a hand whenever and wherever possible.

We are now going to be living without water and sewer facilities.  Porta Potties have been set up in the town at intervals so we can use them and they are dropping off cases of bottled water to get us started.  We will be in this type of state for weeks if not longer until the water lines are re-built and the sewer lines are fixed.

I have met many of my neighbors and have made more friends than I have ever had in the community, I have also met some I dont care to meet again!  But all in all I am amazed and inspired by the people who live near me.  I watched as Pete Koski, perhaps the most devastated home owner in the town returned to his home.  It is just smashed.  The first thing he did was to walk up to his fire number sign that was laying in a mud puddle.  He picked it up, took a rock and hammered it firmly and proudly upright in front of his house.  There was no question of what to do or where to start, he just did it....

No comments: