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Reflections on the Midwest flood

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Reflections on the Midwest flood

Reflections on the Midwest flood 

Last summer, I was looking out the window as a truck carrying a dirt mover pulled into our field. It was there to dig a pond – something we had always wanted, especially for the boys and their friends to enjoy as well as the rest of the family– we all love fishing. Through the hot, dry summer, we watched the new hole. How long would it take to fill? What would it take to bring the water level up enough for us to stock it with fish?

During this unusually wet and frigid winter, the water level slowly rose with each snowfall. We planted flags along the edge to mark its progress. Then, spring came and with it, the rains. With the rains, came the flooding. With the flooding, a complete way of life was ruined for many farm families.

Roads and bridges, railways, herds of cattle and farmland were all enveloped as flood waters teamed with melting snow further upstream and the Missouri River swelled, escaping its banks and ruining hopes for bountiful crops. When the sun finally came out, it created a blinding glare on the surface of the water, hinting at what was beneath. Barns, silos and homes peeked out, abandoned by their owners. My friend at work escaped with a bag, her husband and their two dogs. That’s it.

Now, looking at the pond gave me little pleasure. The rain filling it was directly tied to other peoples’ suffering, which was something we never intended. Last week, I shared my feelings with a friend who reminded me of the power I had to raise awareness of what happened in the Midwest. If you are reading this and do not live in the Midwest, here is the impact. You need to know.

Leading farm states – Wisconsin, South Dakota and Nebraska – have declared states of emergency. Parts of Iowa were declared disaster areas. Just in Nebraska alone, grain and ranching losses are estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Farm families hope to rebound from this event in months, but most likely, it will take years.

I encourage you to take this opportunity to check up on your Midwest neighbors. Consider donating to leading disaster relief efforts hosted by the Red Cross, Salvation Army and United Way.

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Thanks for reading my blog, A Bushel and A Plate.

As a mom who cares about eating good food and knowing the farmer who grew my food, I want to help other families to nourish your families with good, traceable, sustainable food.


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