Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Flooding Update II

This picture was taken by Adam's sister, Abby. The teal and white building is
where equipment is usually stored, it was cleaned out before the flood waters
encroached on this area.

In June I talked about being waterlogged, and gave you a flooding update a few weeks later. I intended to post another flooding update back in late June, but as I sat down to write this post at that time it was just too depressing to put into words. We were not fortunate enough to escape the fury of the Mighty Mo and the river won the battle with the levee. The ground we farm in Missouri, a total of 480 acres, was submerged by the flood waters around June 28th.

As of today, the waters have receded some, but not enough to warrant a clean up effort. The Corps of Engineers is predicting it will be the end of October before the flood waters have completely receded. It is unlikely the ground will have dried out enough to be worked this fall to prepare for the spring crop.

We are not the only ones with acres under water and crops left unharvested. The flooding took its toll all along the Missouri River. On labor day weekend I drove up to North Dakota to attend a friend's wedding and the flooding along the Missouri River was still prominent throughout the entire route. I-29 was closed in two places, Rockport Missouri, and north of Omaha. The flooding in Missouri and Nebraska was devastating. Fields looked like lakes, huge sand bags lined both sides of the highway, and when I was in North Dakota the highway was being raised to prevent future flooding of the road.

Farming is a gamble every year as Adam explained in Goin' Gamblin'. There is always the threat of Mother Nature taking her toll on the crops we put in the ground each spring. In this case we were not lucky enough to be spared from this natural disaster. However, we do count our blessings because we were fortunate enough to still have a crop on the Kansas side, and a home to live in. Many farmers along the Missouri River will be sitting idle this fall due to a majority of their ground being underwater, and many families are still displaced because their homes are still underwater. Our hearts go out to the farmers, their families, and those who have lost their homes.

Even though Mother Nature has thrown this huge curve ball at our family and other Midwest farmers, one thing is certain: we will persevere. This is what a farmer does best. They look at a bad situation and say, "Well, there is always next year." They don't quit, or give up just because things get tough. There is always the hope that next year will be better. Then as we reach a time in the future when times are tough I can see Adam and I looking back on this summer and saying, "This will be a cakewalk compared to the summer of 2011."

The dirt road Adam and his dad travel down to get to their
fields in Missouri.

One of our corn fields.

One of the soybean fields submerged by the flood waters.

The flood waters at Atchison. The water has almost reached
the bottom of the railroad bridge.

Riverfront Park was completely submerged.

The flood waters on the Missouri side.

An elevated view of the river.

The Missouri River at Atchison on June 30th.

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