Yesterday began as Saturdays often do, mellow and uneventful; relaxing. A warm night had kept the passing storm from leaving snow in the lower elevations, Bellevue included. Almost all night the tattering of rain on our metal roof made for a nostalgic sound hinting that Spring was drawing near. After breakfast my family took advantage of the soggy morning to clean up the house and by 11am or so my wife noticed on Facebook that our Mayor was requesting help on the North end of town as some homes were being flooded.
Homes being flooded on the North end didn’t register as something to be concerned about. All that was North of town was a large field; no creeks, lakes, no reason to connect this area with flooding. By noon my curiosity got the better of me and I drove my eight year old daughter, Kaia, to see what the story was. Within a minute of arriving, I had a shovel in my hand and Kaia was holding open the sandbags as we filled one after another. Breaks between filling bags were hauling and stacking them along the street to keep the field’s rapidly melting snow from draining into town.
We worked until a line had been created and then I grabbed my camera to capture some of the final moments. I stopped back by to catch the fire and city works departments wrapping up the dredge line they were using to help channel the water toward storm drains located on main street.
The Wood River Valley, home to my home town, Bellevue, is about as far removed from natural disasters as I thought possible. While, the occasional avalanche rips down a mountain side or a minor earthquake rumbles the ground, I didn’t think I’d be sandbagging with my neighbors where town met pasture.