Thursday, June 20, 2013


So, I walked to work today.

Got in, and a couple staff members weren't coming in because the river had started flooding.

A few patrons had been evacuated from the flood zone, and came to us to hang out. We never thought we'd flood. I brewed a pot of coffee, got cookies for the evacuees.

Then we heard that the hospital, and the elementary school down the street were being evacuated.

The water got higher, and crept toward us. They were diverting traffic in front of us for a while.

And then the diverting stopped because the water got too high around us.

We jammed the doors, moved everything we could off the floor, and shifted the books from the lower shelves.

By this time, we were walking through puddles.

I wanted to leave about an hour before the power went out. There was a dripping, then a quiet roaring, like a bunch of small waterfalls. It was the sound of water rushing into the heat registers on the floor.

The water kept rising on all sides. The library is on a slight hill, but the water was 3 feet deep in the shallowest places.

By the time I convinced everyone we needed to get the fuck out of there, the waters had risen too far, and we couldn't force the doors open.

None of the windows open.

We smashed open one of the windows, and the dude climbed out, cutting himself badly on his leg by his knee. I ran back inside the rapidly filling library, and grabbed the first aid kit.

And then climbed out of the window and I bandaged his leg. He's going to need stitches. Ironically, I was the only one who was unable to take the first aid course. Still. Yay team Tam.

*Update* The director of the library went in after the flood to take pics for insurance. That man was there at the door waiting when she came out. He said he wanted to thank me for saving his life. When he'd gotten to Urgent Care 5 hours later, they took the bandage off, and his leg started spurting blood. The doctor said if I hadn't bandaged him up the way I had, he wouldn't have made it. HOLY SHIT!!!!*

Then pulled the 90 year old patron out the window.

We were an island. One of the other librarians, and the summer reading coordinator waded across to go catch the firemen's attention, about three blocks away.

About half an hour later, they came on a forklift through 5 feet of water.

The 90 year old patron, and the guy with the cut leg rode inside. Another librarian and I rode on a stretcher on the front of the forklift.We rode back with choppers swinging through the air.

I was happy, because I knew my husband would be worried about me - I don't have a cell phone, and the telephones had all been out for some time.

But I wasn't home yet.

We were on the street I needed to be on - the street that NEVER flooded. Our town has flooded before. But our house NEVER floods - and 12th Ave NEVER floods.

It was under about 8 feet of water in some parts.

This is the vid my husband took while waiting for me. This is about two blocks away from my house.

Vid of Flooding

After waiting around at the H&R Block, we learned they were carrying people across the huge puddle - more like a lake - by a COMBINE.

So, we waited, and one came, and went. A boat came, took someone who was on oxygen away.

Helicopters were flying overhead the whole time. I learned later that some 150 people were evacuated from rooftops.

Another combine came. I climbed on, and made my way home. My street was dry. I thought it would be okay. I thought my house would be okay.

A knock at the door, and I was told we were under a mandatory evacuation order. THE WHOLE TOWN.

I grabbed what I could, waited for my husband to come home - he was still off waiting for me, and we missed each other in the drop zone - and tried to think clearly. By this time, I'd been awake for 8 hours, had slogged through icy flood water and rain for 3 of them, hadn't eaten for 8, and was running on adrenaline.

Roads are shut.

People are missing.

The army has been called in.

But we are okay. I'm safe at my brother's, for how long, I'm not sure. There's a different river here flooding as well.

I don't know where we'll go if we're evacuated from here. 

I don't know if my house is flooded.

My work is flooded.

Which means I don't have a job any more. At least not for a while.

If I'm not online much, that's why. I'll keep you updated.


Update: my amazing CP and pitchmas cohort, Jessa Russo has set up a fund to help me out. By NO MEANS feel obligated to help, but know that I appreciate it so much to everyone who has helped.


  1. I'll be thinking of your and sending positive thoughts your way... stay safe!

  2. You are definitely in my thoughts. Sending you happy energy/thoughts and hope you stay safe and dry where you are now.

  3. You must find ways to get online and update us! So thinking about you!!

  4. Please let us know what we can do to help and we'll get the word out.

  5. Prayers sent for you and everyone else.

  6. You must be scared and exhausted, I know. But keep going. You'll make it.

  7. Oh wow. Sending my thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Hope you stay safe and dry!

  8. I missed all of this yesterday because I wasn't online much. THIS IS AWFUL! Let us know what we can do to help. In the mean time, I'm thinking dry, Sahara desert thoughts at Alberta.

  9. OMG. Prayers going up for you. Stay safe.

  10. *hugs* Thinking of you guys. If you make it to Kansas, I have a spare futon. :D

  11. Global covered this on the 11pm news last night. UNBELIEVABLE. So glad that you made it out okay, but you have to know that some may not have. Thinking of you all today...

  12. Thinking about you, and hoping your home remained unscathed and your brother's continues to stay safe. Massive (((HUGS))) and love.

  13. I hope your home is ok and that you can return to it soon!

  14. Oh, hon, I'm so sorry. I can't imagine how this must feel. I'm feeling helpless to help at the moment, so I'll do what I can for now-- send prayers and positive vibes. Hugs and love and more hugs.

  15. Oh my dear friend. How terrifying! I'm so sorry! *hugs you* Sending prayers, vibes, and tweeting up this post. My most heartfelt wish is that you can return home soon and everything will be salvagable. Take care and keep us posted!

  16. I'm so proud of you for staying so self possessed during such an awful time. Please, if there is anything I or we can do at to help you or your family, please contact me and we will do whatever we can.



  17. Love you...praying for you..Stay safe. *hugs*

  18. I donated what I could. Thinking of you and hoping for the best. xo

  19. Oh my gosh that is so scary! Glad to hear you are at least safe now. Take care!

  20. Just look at my kitten, being a Big Damn Hero. Keep safe, you. <3