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Thursday, January 27, 2011

worlds 'o' flooding. free admission. but you can never leave.

interesting article in the Fargo Forum online yesterday ( that said Winnipeg is burning up the wires trying to buy all the sandbags and Hesco barriers they can, production orders through and beyond flood season.

the eagles on the Fargo city commission, no slouches in this flood stuff, promptly directed advancing their orders.

if you live in Gutless Prarie, and you just found you have floods likely this Spring, son, you is outta luck.  they just got the flood forecasts in the twin cities today, and basically every river in Minnesota has a 50% 80% chance of flooding, with the Minnesota going for records again, and everybody else near them.

NostrilDrippus Predicts! (tm) several things:

1)  with all the precip on the east coast and down south in the fall and winter, we're not the only ones getting to work by backstroke up here on the high prarie.

2)  if your city wizards have in the past taken the attitude that, hell, we can beat it in a week, so we'll get supplies in mid-March... take them out back to the loading dock and have a little chat.  they've got cobwebs between the ears.

3)  a lot of folks are going to be on their own with no direction known this year.

alternatives to pretty packaged portadikes I have seen successfully used ::=

a) "Madison blocks," those concrete road barriers used to separate lanes.  heavy and broad based, two to four tons depending on height and length, I think.  get a chain on the payloaders, start haulin' them off trucks, put down a 12 mil plastic sheet, put the barriers on that, flip the plastic over the barriers, and keep them in place during wind and foolishness with shovelfuls or buckets of sand.

b) plastic spooled out, clay/dirt/sand/mothers-in-law piled on the dry side, the plastic folded back over the new hill and held in place with a little more material also works.

c)  wood barriers with bracing behind, again, plastic sheeting under, across, and over the top.

d)  run like Hell and don't look back.

when push gets to shove, of course, you can't get any of this.  measure twice and purchase once, there are others who will need to protect their homes and livelihoods.

if you happen to be out standing in your field (chuckle) and there is a low side to worry about, use the blade to push up your own dike.  don't forget to pretest your pumps and generators, and lay in the commonest spare parts.  make sure your overhead gas tank is full and clean.  modern generators have a little spin-timer that shuts the bugger off at about 100 hours for oil changes.  find it, know how to reset it.  lay in the oil, filters, and don't let the machine get to that point in the first place.

Onans and other units using ring-float carbs like Tecumseh engines have a tendecy for the ring float to hang up if the generator engine is tipped sideways.  get carb cleaner, make sure you have a disassembly diagram, and if you've never opened one up, try it before you rely on it.  seriously.  Newport got into issues from the fire department generators not starting for this reason some 16 years ago when I was jobless and had time to sandbag with them.  it's an easy fix.  if you know about it.  you could also pour a gob of carb cleaner down the barrel, hold in the bowl drain, and sharply rap the carb near the bottom plate if you can't find the sharp end of a screwdriver.  less chance of losing parts at 2 am in the mud.

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