Thursday, July 17, 2014
I made my self a promise last year after we had the third worse flood in history, it was 88 days from the moment we started sand bagging till the bags were taken away, that I would get out of my shop before the next flood. I guess I am just not smart. I have a house and a business on the banks of the Mississippi. Well I kept my promise. I closed my shop the end of June and the flood started the next day. Thank goodness I only had the house to contend with. The flood we had this year was a shocker. I really didn't believe we were going to have a flood. But, here it came. Thank goodness for computers, you can go right to a site and see what's up with the river. It will tell you up to the inch how high it is going to be. I just think about in 1845, when my house was built, that those poor people had no ideal the river was coming up until it began to over flow it's bank. They had no ideal how much it would flood, when it would happen and how long it would last. At least we have that information today.
In case you did not know it, I closed my shop, Downtown Antique Mall. I got tired of working 7 days a week and 5 years without a vacation. I have a friend that has a Antique Mall in Louisiana,Mo., about 9 miles from the old shop and I have taken several spaces in her mall. I am leaving all the responsibility to her, all the book keeping and so forth and so on that goes along with having a shop. I will work a few days in exchange for booth rent. I am hoping it is a win win situation for both of us. And the good thing is, it is not close to the river and never, ever will flood.
My old 1845 house has gone through several floods in it's 168 years, three since I have owned it. I bought the house in 2006 and we had the third worse flood in history in 2008. It was a real learning experience. Millions of sand bags were filled and we build a wall all the way around my house. It was a island. It was also a mess to clean up. Although the sand bags keep the river away from the house, water does seep under. This means several pumps were used to pump it back out. Someone had to man those pumps, fill them with gas and keep them running 24-7. That someone was me. It was a two month ordeal. I lived at the house with no utilities, had food brought in by boat and had to tight rope a sand bag wall to take Sissy to the bath room. But I did it and all was well. Cleanup took months.
Every flood is different and different methods are used to fight it. The flood we had last year, we made a wall from gravel, right down the middle of the street, in front of my house. It went up much faster and was much easier to take away. Our little town of 450 people, paid for those two floods. It almost bankrupted the town. This year the city officials voted not to pay for flood prevention. It was up to each person to do there own. With the prediction being what it was, I knew where the water would be, so I just chose to let it flood. It was emotional, but it has worked out. I have some brown grass, dirty side walks and a very wet basement, but otherwise, all is well.
I am hoping that some day, SOON, I can sell my home and get away from this flooding problem. When I was a kid, the floods came every 20 years. Then 15. Now it has been 2 years in a row. I am sure people messing with the river has caused this. When you build banks to hold the river back, it has to go somewhere. Damns have been build to control the debt for barge travel, I fear they can control the river, more than we ever will know. I love this old house, but enough is enough. I am sure it will be very hard to find a buyer, what with this flooding happening so regularly. Stranger things have happened.
Anyhow, keep me in your prayers. Help me find what is right for me to do. And for now, all is well at, "My Old Historic House."