I should take pictures like my sister does, then illustrating narratives would be so much easier! But I am not the photographer in our family; and Lois was sick on Sunday. So I drove down to Minnesota alone.
There was a lot of water out. The Red River is filling up with water, and the Red River valley is on full flood alert. When I candidated at Providence in 1997, the crest of that year's flood was moving through Winnipeg: The Flood of the Century. Now people are talking about a repeat. It doesn't look quite as bad here in Manitoba; but in Minnesota and North Dakota the danger is real.
I saw fields full of water, fields that needed a skiff more than a tractor. They aren't as bad yet as they might become, but they're bad enough. I was preaching at a Covenant church in a small northern Minnesota town -- mostly farmer families. Not everyone was there: at least one family was sandbagging their yard to keep the place safe from rising water.
Meanwhile we wait. Tonight we're supposed to get two or three inches of rain (or its equivalent in snow). That's the fear -- that a major storm will add to the frozen or waterlogged ground and run off into the Red. Then ice jams downriver closer to Lake Winnipeg can add to the problem.
The Red flows north, an unusual thought for most Americans. usually it is a placid, mild stream. Now we're watching it grow and praying that it doesn't get too high.