Thanks to the Associated Press for this aerial shot of the river. Just to give you an idea of what is going on. In the middle of the river is Mays Island. From right to left is the jail and the Linn County Courthouse, then the break in the buildings is Third Ave. Those two faint lines going to the right is the bridge that I showed in the earlier shot. As you go up and to the right (or over the bridge from the courthouse) is my store.
As I post this the level is reported at 29'. We are expected to crest tomorrow at 32'. To give you a better appreciation for what is happening - flood stage is 12'. The historic crest (the highest level ever before recorded) was 20'. We were preparing for a crest of 23 - 24'.
This has already exceeded what is referred to as a "500 year flood". They don't post flooding projections for greater than that. I listened to a radio interview with a trainer from the Duane Arnold Nuclear Energy plant near here talking about how he trains for "worst case" scenarios all the time. Nuclear plants are always training for what to do in disaster situations. He was saying that if he went into one of those training sessions proposing they consider a scenario 60% greater than ever before seen he would be called outrageous. No one had considered that something like this could ever happen.
We really don't know what to expect. It rained another 5" today in Linn County. In addition to this river flooding we have flash flooding of the streams and creeks because of the rain and there is nowhere for the rain to go.
I have to commend the city and the utility companies. 100 blocks of the city are flooded. The jail, City Hall, and the utility company buildings have all had to be evacuated and yet the city is functioning. Outside of the flooded areas we have electricity, we have police protection and we have a life. And no one has died because of this disaster. That is simply amazing to me.
We just have to wait now for the waters to recede so we can go back in and see what we have. That will probably take a week. The river is projected to still be over 20' through next Wednesday.