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Des Moines Floods of 2008

Today we went on an adventure.  One that I had wanted to take for days now, but did not have the time, energy or opportunity to do it.  So today I loaded the children and we went to gawk at all the flooding that is happening in Des Moines.  Lest anyone is concerned that we are in danger, we are not.   We live in a high part of Des Moines and if we get flooded out, the entire city will be under water as well as every single suburb for about 20 miles around us.  So I do not anticipate having to leave our home.  Unless God has other plans and if that’s the case, Blessed Be the Name of the Lord. 

First I wanted to go to the house that is down by the river on the very north side of town that we had hoped to one day live in.  We knew it was close to the river, but figured it would be OK.  So I get to the intersection to turn right onto the road and head out there and all I see is orange fence.  

The road is closed. The children tell me we should go to the barricade and see what it looks like.  And because I do everything my children say to do (not) we did.

Olivia in her car seat for just a minute or two while we gawked.

You see, once you leave the city, there is a hill that heads down toward the river and this house is closer to river level than the city.  If you look closely in the picture you can see roof tops.  Those are home and garages and some out buildings.  No, you can’t see the property that we had wanted to buy (notice the past tense) but down there is also a baseball complex that is completely under water.  In the middle of the picture is also I80/I35.  Apparently there has been traffic jams on that stretch of road because people just cannot imagine the flooding that is happening on both sides of the road.

Next we travel down to the Birldand Area of Des Moines.  This area is about a mile downhill from our home and it also houses one of our favorite play areas in the city.  I love this playground because there are many areas for the children to play and I can see them all from one spot. 

We could not enter through our normal route because that way is under water.  So we came in the back way, through another park that is situated high up on a hill.

Now, I am not completely sure what is under the water, my guess is grass.  Because the water should not even be on this side of the park or road.  Right over the little hill where the trees are, there is a road that cuts through the park.  It is not under water yet. 

See the boats waiting to go into the water if necessary.  Its hard to see, but in front of the boats is a road.  Oh wait,  you can’t see it, but you should be able to see the top part of the stop sign.  The road is covered in water. Oh wait, the stop sign you can see is not the sign to the regular road, but only the sign in the park road.

Here we are walking up towards the carousel.  The children did not understand why it was still running.  I told them it was good business, they can make money off of all the gawkers that are coming to look at the water.  They asked if we could go.  I told them no. 

Abigail, Miriam, Nathan, Bethany

Our first good look at the road and park covered with water. 

Did you notice the green building top.  That is the shelter that I like to sit under while the children played.

Volunteers making thousand and thousands of sandbags.

To try to give you an idea of where the river should be, I took this picture.  Now, see the electrical poll in the middle of the picture?  Go straight back from that.  Do you see the line of trees?  Well the river is supposed to be on the other side of those trees. 

Here is a better picture, closer up, well zoomed up.

I said that the road we normally take there is flooded.  The following picture gives a good view of where the road should be and where there is a dirt and sand levy built in to prevent flooding from the low lying areas to the north.

Do you notice in the middle of the picture where the little grassy patch ends and it looks like gravel.  That is where the park/levy ends and the road should be.   Do you see the trees that are just in the water on the right side of the picture?  That is well above where the road ends and the hill begins.  Yesterday the National Guard was called in to help sandbag the levy.  Do you see all the sandbags on top of the grass levy? 

Here we are looking at our favorite play ground.  Oh you can’t see it?  I bet you can see the park shelter in the back and the two roofs for smaller shelters (green roofs).  You can barely make out the blue of the play structure.
Thomas holding Olivia, Abigail, Miriam, Nathan, Bethany

Here is the same view up closer.  I thought we could see the swings, but no, they are not the swings, but the blue is the top of the play structure that is well over 6 feet tall.  And the big old metal swings are nowhere to be found.

One more picture of the sandbaggers.  Oh and the other play are on the left of the picture.  This was all happening on the top of the hill.  It was to our backs when we were looking at the flood waters.

I’ll be back another day to show you pictures from our trip downtown.  Those pictures were more amazing in a different way.


4 comments to Des Moines Floods of 2008

  • rosebudmom

    Hello! Those are great pics. Wow – they remind me of the flood of '93. We live in Illinois -just east of St. Louis and I remember well the unbelievable level of the water. Hopefully we won't have to deal with that again. Glad that your home is not in danger.

    Have a great day!


  • Anonymous

    Amazing! Praying for your safety and that God will use you in a mighty way through all of this!


  • momatpeace

    TODAY you can say Praise God that He shut the door on that house… WOW! Who knew there would be another 500 year flood, just 15 years later?

    Thanks for taking photos — I don't have TV and am using my imagination while listening to WHO. LOL I think I'll go to a bar tonight so I can watch the news. HA HA!! (ohi'mjustkidding!!)


  • Anonymous

    I stopped by to see if y'all were needing to evacuate. Since I've never been to Des Moines, I'm not familiar with its layout, and I was very concerned that y'all might have to leave after the announcement this morning. So glad to hear that your current house is safe. (Pity about the other property, though.)

    Looking forward to the pictures from downtown!

    — Julie in Ohio 🙂

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