Monday, April 13, 2009

Flood - One, Dike - Nothing

Last night, we arrived home from our annual Easter trip. I checked my messages, as I always do before I start to unpack. BAD NEWS. My parents’ cottage had water up to the porch. This came as quite a shock to them since this was their first spring as owners of the property.

Earlier that day, my parents and brother decided to take a drive to the cottage to see how much ice was still on the lake. They’d heard of ice jams causing problems in the town of Selkirk (Manitoba), but didn’t think of how those same ice jams might affect the lake behind their cottage.

When they first got to the cottage, there was some minor flooding in their backyard. Within an hour, things had gotten progressively worse. My parents and brother realized this water wasn’t from winter thaw. There was a breach in the dike and the river was flowing into their yard. They didn’t know what to do, so they left in search of friends to help sandbag.

Unfortunately, they were unable to locate anyone. Not surprising considering this was Easter Sunday. When they returned, three hours later, they were no longer able to pull into their drive-way. The water was rushing through their yard and across the road. My brother went in the frigid river and saw the water was now up to the door. Deciding it was too late to save their cottage, the three of them went home disgusted. How could the same piece of land that had given them so many wonderful times last summer cause them so much grief less than a year later?

As it turns out, my brother returned this morning to inspect the damages. Apparently, over night, neighbors had gotten together and sandbagged the breach in the dyke. The water receded once again, but nobody’s going to feel safe until the ice jams have melted and the river levels have dropped.

About the photos:

The first two photos were taken within the hour of their first visit. Note: The fire pit is usually separated from the water by the dike and a beach. The dock is a floating dock that's supposed to be on dry land until we put it back into the water.

The last three photos were taken three hours later. The drive-way looks like a river, and the fire pit is completely under water.

Unfortunately, I don’t have photos from today, but my brother said the fire pit is about two inches above water now. Apparently, the neighbors who sandbagged last night saved my parents' cottage and their own.

Have you ever experienced flooding?


  1. Oh no, that's awful! Thank goodness for good neighbors! I have family that lives near the Red River in Minn. And ND. So far my family hasn't had any big problems this year. Best of luck to your family!

  2. I'm so sorry. How stressful for your family. Yes, flooding happens here every spring. My friends, family, even the college I attended, have fought rising water. My sister's basements floods, so she has a pump on hand just in case. My thoughts and prays.

  3. Thankfully I have never experienced a flood. My heart sinks for flood victims though.
    I suppose the "blessing" in this case is that it is a vacation cottage, and not their everyday home. Still stressful and sad though! I hope the water damage will be minimal!

  4. How sad for them. I know they were so worried. I'm glad neighbors did what they could do to stop it. I hope there wasn't much damage inside the house. I've not been in a flood. From what I see on TV, the worst part can be after the water recedes and mud and yuk is left behind!


  5. Oh dear, that looks horrible.

    Uh...I've never suffered too much from flooding although there are areas around me that do, particularly the burn areas. The beach areas get some nasty mudslides but we are okay here. I live on an incline so we don't have much worries.

  6. Oh, wow! The only flooding we experienced was when the tube that connects the hose of the washing machine to the wall so it can drain became detached. I never realized how much water a washing machine could hold before then.

    I'm glad the neighbors were able to help. Hopefully the water will go down soo.

  7. Oh gosh! I'll send up prayers for your family!

  8. We haven't experienced but have friends that have. It is a nightmare.
    Thank heavens the neighbors were there for your family.

  9. Thanks for all your nice thoughts. The area has now been evacuated, so we have no way of knowing whether or not the water has entered the cottage. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

  10. That is awful. I remember having flooding in our basement when I was growing up and my husband and I had flooding in our home in Herriman. It was awful and such a mess to clean up. Thanks for commenting on my blog. I will definitely be back.