I grew up on the Missouri River. As a child, I was taught a great respect for the river. I never saw it in it's 'heyday' because the dams had been in place long before I came around. I heard stories through my childhood about my Grandparents and my Parents and their experiences with the river. There were places that they'd go to go fishing and swimming that had dried up. This all happened when the dams were put in and the river shifted. This caused our little town to shift too and many old buildings were lost because the ground shifted underneath them.
|This was the old courthouse that was gone many years before I was born.|
|This was the school. This part of the school was lost, but the other half of the building was saved and that's where I went to High School.|
Now, in my hometown area, the original path of the river has been restored. Areas that had once been the river, that were turned into farm land, are now underwater again. My Mom was telling me that it looks like it did when she was younger. This has harmed people that decided to build large, lavish houses in those areas too. In the last 15 years, people started building along the river because they thought that the river would never again go back to it's original banks. I personally couldn't understand why anyone would want to build such big and expensive houses in such a dangerous area. But then again, I grew up knowing the unpredictable nature of the second largest river in the US that was right out our backdoor. We had many generations grow up in this area who knew it very well.
The flooding of the Missouri is leaving me awestruck. To see the power of the river and the destruction that it's leaving in it's path is humbling. For my hometown, it's causing harm to farmland and to communities that have sprung up close to the river. Closer to our house though, it is causing massive problems and threats to more than just farmland and property owners. The Missouri has spilled it's banks farther there than it has before. It has threatened traffic on the major interstate system, I-29. We traveled back home last week and were unable to take the interstate. Fortunately, we know the back highways and were able to take them and stay far from the river, adding about 45 minutes on to the drive. My Dad flew out of the airport in Omaha, which is close to the river, and he said seeing the Missouri from the air left him speechless.
We have been watching the river flow down from my husband's hometown, to mine, and then to our home in Nebraska. As it flows farther south is it impacting how people can travel and some major power suppliers to our area. This, in my opinion, get worse as it goes south because it starts to affect everyone, not just the people who live there. I know that we won't see these waters start to recede until this Fall, but I'm sure that we won't see them go down for years. It's a fascinating thing to see.