Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Deluge in Northfield - Video

The big event of the week in Northfield and the nearby region was the six to eight inches of rain -- even more in some spots -- that came down on Thursday. Wave after wave of heavy rain passed through the area throughout the day and well into the evening. The Cannon River flooded in Cannon Falls, along with the Little Cannon, but did not (at least not to any significant extent) in Northfield. However, creeks overflowed, soccer fields turned into lakes, farms were underwater, several roads became impassable, and many people had wet basements.

I have a wet basement myself -- our sump pump failed at one corner of the finished portion of our basement, so water welled up in that area and spread throughout our family room. More water poured in under a door at the opposite, walk-out side of the basement, where there is a badly conceived exterior stairwell. We have a bedroom down there as well, which is also very wet; it seems to have received some water from both sources. We spent much of the night trying to keep up with it all, and quite a bit of time and hard work ever since, trying to get things dried out and assess what needs to be done next. Carpets, baseboards and the bottom of several walls were soaked. It's been quite upsetting, but I know that what we experienced was little compared to some others.

Friends at the small, diversified Seeds Farm and Laughing Loon Farm, just south of Northfield, were indundated. Much planted acreage and some chickens were washed away. Both farms are gratefully welcoming volunteers to help with the clean-up this week. Both have Facebook pages: and I've been following both farms' accounts of their spring plantings, and it's very sad to see so much hope simply drowned, though I'm sure they'll recover in time.

While watching one of the early downpours from the Neuger Communications Group office at the heart of downtown Northfield, I took this short video of water lapping over the curb in front of our building and gushing from a manhole across the street where the storm sewer became overwhelmed. It's funny to think, looking back, that this was only the beginning. At this point in the day, the planners of Taste of Northfield were still hoping to hold the event that evening, "rain or shine." In the end, of course, it had to be canceled.

A couple of local websites picked up this video (which, due to the magic of the smartphone, I had posted to YouTube and tweeted within a couple of minutes of recording it), and when I checked yesterday I was quite astounded to see it's had more than 800 views.

While coping with all the rain, we spared a thought for the close-to-fledging tree swallows in some of our bluebird boxes and hoped that they were staying dry and had not chosen that morning to leave the nest. And I hope our young bluebird fledglings, most of whom are only two or three weeks out of the nest, found shelter and are all right. We checked most of our nestboxes yesterday, and all those we checked seemed to have stayed dry. I'll be posting a bluebird trail report soon.

Update - June 18: We had another bout of heavy rain and hail overnight -- Weather Underground stations are reporting between one and four inches overnight in the Northfield and Cannon Falls areas (3.75 at Stanton airport).

No comments: