Somehow, in a vague way, they remind me of the porta-potties from 2009. My wife says that I should be nice and refer to them as twin utility sinks. Irrespective of which description is more apt, they definitely make it easier to fill a sandbag. Using the â€˜porta-sinksâ€™ eliminates the risk of finger injury to the bag holder and removes about five arm gyrations for the shovel operator. You will understand what I am talking about once you get up to sandbag central. Even though Hesco Fences are going up all over town we still havenâ€™t reached our goal of 150,000 sandbags in Valley City. Go on up and give the student volunteers a break, we will need their strong backs for the sandbag lines later this week.
Friday night is date night at the Collins house. I am a cheapskate date so last Friday night I took my wife out for a free sandwich and all the gummy bears she could eat. We went to sandbag central. I recommend you try the strawberry gummies, they are the best ever, it must be all that red dye that gives kids ADHD.
I was trying to find a Zen like oneness with the job of filling sandbags; scoop, twist, dump and ruminate but my back wouldnâ€™t cooperate. In fact several people wondered why I was there at all and advised me to take it easy, let the kids do the work. So far the VCSU and VCHS students have carried the load for the rest of us. I stubbornly didnâ€™t heed their advice. My wife reminded me of that stubbornness later that night while she placed a checkerboard of pain patches on my back. She reminded me again the next morning when I couldnâ€™t lift my coffee cup.
While I was leaving sandbag central and limping toward the car my wife suddenly made an inspired, Dennis Walaker like flood prognostication. She said the flood waters in Valley City will peak at 17â€™. She has no more scientific basis for making this prediction than Dennis but her hope was contagious. I want to believe the crest will be no higher than 17â€™ but I am not willing to bet on it. If I can lift more than my camera this week, I will be back at sandbag central, seeking Zen and fighting the pain while trying to fill more bags with sand.
In the mean time I will amuse myself by watching the inflow/outflow of water at Baldhill Dam and the Ashtabula reservoir elevation. You can do the same at this website: http://www.mvp-wc.usace.army.mil/projects/Baldhill.shtml
The current stage of the Sheyenne river elevation in Valley City can be found here: http://nd.water.usgs.gov/floodtracking/charts/05058500.html