Nothern Indiana Flood 2018

Yes, I am still alive. I have started several entries this way over the past 2 years since I began blogging here. A lot has happened since the start of the year.  The next few posts are likely to be things that already happened that I want to write about.

I will begin with the flooding in Northern Indiana that we experienced in mid February.

In three days, we received 7 inches of rain that fell on top of approximately 2 feet of packed snow.  The snow was already melting from unseasonably warm weather that we got to enjoy for a couple of days before it began to rain.

Below is a photograph of my house approximately two days before the warm up. I took this photo because I was complaining  discussing how I was clearing snow from the street so I could park and the neighbor kept stealing my space.

 

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This was the scene a few days before the warm up and the rain started. Reports stated that the rainfall would have equaled almost 60 inches of snow.

 

The mayor of south Bend, Pete Buttigieg, referred to the event as our 500 year flood.

“When we talk about flooding in an area we don’t have 500 or 1,000 years of records,” said David Call, an associate professor of meteorology at Ball State University in Muncie. “We extrapolate out, we graph it out based on the data we do have. When people say a 500-year flood, it’s what we would expect the magnitude of flooding to be once every 500 years.”

If you have been following me on social media, you have seen my numerous photographs of the St. Joseph River. I love the St. Joe. I live a couple of blocks away and I often hike along it, kayak and of course, photograph it.  The river is a huge part of our community.

I have never seen the St. Joseph River that high or the flooding that it caused. I have also never seen the local ditches spill over the way that they did. It was incredible for our area. A lot of people lost their homes and businesses.  Roads collapsed or washed out, bridges were swept away.  Schools were closed for several day and shelters were created in additions to the locations that were already available.

In addition to the St. Joseph River, I also frequent the area of the Dausman Ditch, located near Bremen, Indiana. I often take my horse down the lane and cross the ditch to ride a trail and along the fences and fields that belong to my friend Chalisa and her family.  There is a wooden bridge they use to cross their equipment to get to the back fields.

The water threatened the bridge but they were able to save it.  If you’re following me on social media, you’ve seen photographs of this bridge several times.  It’s a plan wooden bridge but for whatever reason, I am enamored with it.

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The bridge over the Dausman Ditch. I am amazed that it’s still there!!

Professionally, we handled numerous water rescues from homes and vehicles. It was bad enough that everyone was out of barricades and signs. Marshall County, Indiana was in a state of emergency.  One of my close friends is an officer there and told me that one of the most frustrating things that he was forced to deal with was figuring out how to get to the people that needed help either because he couldn’t get to them or couldn’t get to them without serious risk of getting himself killed in the process.

I am begging you to NOT drive your vehicles through high water. It never looks as deep as it really is. You’re going to stall your motor and become stranded. You can also get swept away.  Not only does this put yourself into a bad situation but you’re also putting the responders into a bad position when we have to come and save you.

If there is a barricade or a road closed sign set up that means that the road is closed. It means that it is closed for you, regardless of who you think you are or where you think you need to go.  It’s closed for a reason.  Turn around and find another way to reach your destination.

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Near Wyatt, Indiana- Someone spray painted “road closed” on this van. This was approx 3 days after the rain stopped.

 

The first morning that the water was really high and covering the roads, I had to get really creative to make my destination and at one point, I was going to simply cancel my reasons for travel. It’s not worth putting yourself at risk.

Below is a small gallery of photo’s from our area. I did my best to add captions since the locations are from different areas with different sources of water.  I wasn’t able to get very many because I didn’t go near the affected areas since the roads were closed.  I took the majority of the photo’s and noted which ones I didn’t.

 

Disheartened 

So.. How was your week?

On Tuesday, I wrote about how I took my son with me to vote in the election. I mentioned how I don’t discuss politics or religion with my friends and family members for the sole purpose of keeping the peace.

I don’t know what it’s like around your neck of the woods but around here, it wasn’t socially acceptable to have voted for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. I realized that pretty quickly even before the election happened. People were incredibly nasty about opposing opinions and ideas.  That really motivate me to keep my mouth shut about my decisions.

I’m certainly not opposed to debate with anyone or even a lively conversation but I also don’t like to be hassled. I find the thought of a debate or even a lively discussion about either of the candidates and the issues to be exceptionally tiresome. Mostly because I know what awaits if my opinions don’t match theirs.

As I read about the “protests”,  and let’s face it and call it what it is, “riots” that are happening in the country after the results of the election,  it makes me think that this was more about “your candidate” winning or losing than it ever was about the issues and what’s really happening in our country.

I really don’t care who you voted for or why. It’s none of my business. I do take issue with violence and the destruction of property. At that point, your cause is lost to me. When you’re attacking police officers, setting things on fire, breaking out windows and holding up signs about raping Melania Trump, I no longer want to hear your concerns. I do not support that.

Maybe that opinion will be unpopular but I stand by it. While you do have the right to protest whatever you want to, you don’t have the right to attack people or destroy property. If I was Hillary Clinton, I would be embarrassed.

I made the mistake of responding to a post on Facebook to make that point. The Facebook belonged to a very smart woman who is educated, a professional and hails from the same small town that I am from.

She posted an article that justified the riots.

I’ve known this woman since I was probably five years old. When I touched on the violence and destruction and the fact that people were calling for the rape of Melania Trump and reminded them that it was not going to reverse the outcome of the election, I was informed that I was a racist, had no compassion for the human race along with some other horrible and hurtful accusations.

If you want to know how that felt, it was hurtful and it was rather shocking to me.

Two things.

1. My resume proves these accusations wrong. I’ve worked as a public servant since I was 22 years old. I’ll be 40 on December 1.  If you were to ask anyone who has ever encountered me they will tell you that I am kind, generous and fair. I’ve also saved the lives of countless strangers that I have never even met. I’d give you the shirt off my back if you needed it.

2. Nothing screams compassion for the human race like attacking a middle aged white guy that you suspect is a Trump supporter. Or calling for and encouraging the rape of Melania Trump. Or setting a business on fire. You’re hurting your communities and your cause.

I was unfriended and blocked on Facebook because I pointed out that what was happening was wrong. I’ve never told anyone who I voted for. However, I will never stand by and justify these things. Anyone in their right mind wouldn’t.

My 50 something cousin also unfriended and blocked me on Faceboook because she made a false statement and I told her she was wrong and then backed it up with facts. Again, I pointed out a fact and never once have voiced who I was supporting in the election. The problem with that was that I won’t allow a false narrative or an outright lie. I didn’t even say anything on her personal Facebook. It was on mine.

If you’ve ever wondered what your worth really was to the people in your life, you probably found out this past week.  My question at this point is, how do you come back from that? I can only assume in the months to come, if and when things settle down and people aren’t so angry, that the people who were that angry at you over your opinion might try to make amends. What if they do? What if they don’t though?

I should’ve listened to my grandfather and just scrolled right on by and kept my mouth shut. I shouldn’t have to but it would probably be better. I would at least still have my childhood friend and my cousin. It’s easy to say that I don’t need these women in my life but I don’t feel that way. Apparently, I wasn’t valued by them.

I value the people who are in my lives every day.

If you’re having disagreements with your friends and family please think twice before you allow things to get too heated or you make the decision to disown them.  These are the people who are standing by you and support you and are around you everyday.

Disappointing.

Proof Of Life

I’m still alive..

I haven’t really been in the mood to talk lately. When the voice in my head that’s responsible for telling stories or over sharing things about my life goes dark, I’m left with nothing.

The “happenings” in our country have caused me to become quiet and withdrawal. I’m hurt and angry at the ignorance of not only our nation but that of people who know me personally. I’ve had enough of the mud slinging, the blame, the lies and politicians.

At this point, I’m too burned out to even talk about it here or otherwise. I just feel overwhelmingly sad that this is what we have come to as people. Sad that people can’t tell when they’re being deceived. Just sad..

I set out on the road and traveled to Virginia for a week. I stayed in a tiny cottage near Shenandoah National Park. It was amazing.  I really enjoyed my time in the park. I saw five black bears in one day. The views were breathtaking.

I’ve been home for  less than three days. I was laying in bed for less than ten minutes before the anxiety came creeping back in. Overwhelming and sometimes crippling anxiety over everything. It’s hard to explain.

I stood on the summit of a mountain and looked down over the Shenandoah Valley. For a few moments, I had forgotten about everything that was happening and I thought about how great the view was and how the air smelled and how wonderful it was to be standing on top of the world. What a feeling.

And then it was gone.

So here I am. Still alive. I just have nothing to say..