Tag Archives: Jasper County

The Detour

14 Sep

I said I’d share the detour I am taking to the sale barn back when things were rather boring.  It’s been crazy busy, but it’s such a pretty drive, I still want to share it with you.  My normal route actually is a longer trip, but it’s all paved.

The detour is pretty direct, but it’s all gravel.

Pretty much every gravel road in the area has a warning about high water.  Of course, right now I don’t have to worry about it with the drought.

My farm is the start of hills.  North of it is pretty flat, but to the south, there are hills that make it hard to have large flat fields, so there’s small fields, pasture, and lots of trees.

I’ll get back to the church in this image.

My son makes fun of me for driving like an old lady on gravel, but there’s a good reason I drive that slowly.  You never know what’s going to jump out in front of you.

Deer on the road

There’s a lot of old farms and old barns and buildings along this route.

I also get to go past this old church, in the middle of nowhere.  It’s the Union Chapel church which was founded in 1877.

It has a cemetery behind it.  Do you see those stones in the front–they are all cousins of mine.

In the old part of the cemetery, I have more relatives.

I have three sets of grandparents buried here.

Shelby Baker is my 4th great grandfather.

A bit closer to home, there’s the Clear Creek Wildlife Area.

Clear Creek Township is where my great-grandparents lived.  In fact, their old barn is still standing, but I missed taking a picture of it.  No wonder I love my hills.  I have deep roots in this area.

Floods of 2010

11 Aug

I’ve been complaining about rain for quite some time now, and it’s not without good reason.  The local NBC affiliate last night reported that this year has finally taken the top spot.  The year 2010 claims the number one wettest year on record for Des Moines.  To celebrate, mother nature sent another deluge last night.  The results are massive flooding.

My nephew has been getting calls most of the summer wanting him to do tiling jobs.  His only reply is the sure if it ever dries out.  After all, we’ve been going to tile my farm for the last month, and the trencher hasn’t moved an inch because of all the rain.  This morning, his call was a bit different.  With the flash flooding of the ditches and streams, a local farmer had a cow get stuck.  She had water running over the top of her.  He took the backhoe to try and pull her out, but they weren’t able to get her out in time to save her.

Stories like this are playing out all across the central part of the state.  As of this morning, at least one person was killed from their car being swept away.  This is in addition to the (presumably) millions of dollars in damage to homes and property.  Many stores are selling out of cleaning supplies, such as shop vacs.  Sump pumps are working over time, and it’s too much for some sewer systems causing sewage to back up into homes.

Ames, home to the Iowa State Cyclones is virtually an island.  Pretty much all the roads in and out of the city are blocked, including Interstate 35.  This is causing major traffic problems because the detour takes four lanes of traffic and has them smashed into two lanes.  Where Highway 65 turns, it is becoming fairly crowded and dangerous with the left hand turn.

Just as in 1993, Hilton Coliseum has several feet of water covering the basketball court.  Now, Ames is under an order to boil water after flood waters have contaminated the city’s drinking supply.

I did visit Colfax, where the South Skunk River is well out of its banks.  It has closed off Highway 117, and there is the possibility of Interstate 80 being shut down before the waters recede.  In the picture below, that is I-80 where the cars are all visible.  You can see how deep the flood water is where just the top of the van is visible.  This is about 1/4 of a mile from the actual river.

Caseys is now an island.  I hope the owners of all those vehicles have been rescued.  Since I did not see any evacuation/rescue efforts, I assume they made it out.  The local CBS affiliate is reporting that by the time the river crests, 200 homes will be flooded.

This shows where the river is supposed to be.  The exit sign is for the gas station/restaurant where I was parked.  Right behind that is the back of the street sign (Hwy 117).  The river is supposed to be where the line of tall trees is located.  It is expected to reach 25 feet which will be a record.

Four Mile Creek near Des Moines is another area that is dangerous.  They are asking residents of the area to voluntarily evacuate.   There are numerous roads in and around Des Moines that have been closed.  Water and gas is being shut off to some areas as a precaution.

In rural areas of Jasper County, there are many road closings.  In addition, many acres of crops are flooded.  Below is a sampling of these rural flooded areas.