Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Fighting floods, 2013

I find it kind of ironic that the last post we put on this blog was last April during some flooding in Kokomo. We are updating our blog still talking about a flood...in Niger...in the desert! I am not sure other countries want us visiting because floods seem to follow us :) Two weeks ago, I never would have thought that the Niger River would rise enough to cause concern for us. It was rather low for this time of year. We were really enjoying the abundance of rain we were having during the month of August. It actually rained every day there for awhile, but normally every other day was good.
All of a sudden, the river was beginning to tickle the top of the dikes and we became a bit concerned. The school canceled classes last Friday just to be sure that we didn't have the entire school here in case the river decided to come up on land. As it turned out, we didn't need to do that, but it did give us a day to further prepare our campus in case it did happen again. Our whole dorm was out Thursday night reinforcing our new wall into the wee hours of Friday morning. Then back at it again on Friday building berms around the outside of campus, on the dike and anyplace where water would be likely to go. I walked along the dike when it was close to coming over the top and just had a little time with God...more like a begging session pleading that the river would go down. It had been coming up at 2 cm per hour and  things looked grim. As we took turns throughout the night checking for breaches and taking readings on the water level, I went out one hour later only to find that river had indeed dropped by one centimeter. That was certainly going the right direction.
The river continued to descend throughout the next day much to our amazement. Although I have no idea why we were amazed because we know it was only through the power of God that brought this river down.
However, a part of the city still was flooded due to a dike not holding about a half a click north of campus. Much of that water was flowing across the road to the new bridge and then turned back up our road, so we now have water sitting on our outside wall. It isn't deep, but it could cause damage to the wall's foundation being waterlogged like that. As a result, we decided that that wall needed some help. We now have poles supporting that wall as well as dirt on the inside and outside of the wall to try to soak up some of the water. It has been a ton of work. The old wall was only letting water seep in thereby soaking the ground.
You can see how high the water was on the dike. Very very close to coming over. 
I will now post some pics of the kids working and one where you can see where the water was and where is is tonight. Please do pray that it continues to go down. While we love the rain, every storm that blows through even north of us causes some tension in wondering what it will cause the river to do.
This is a house just down the street with only a few inches of water in it. I witnessed it just collapsing Saturday. So sad to watch. The people got out the night before all the water entered. 

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