While I was out of state in early August, the governor of Minnesota declared 75% of the state to be a disaster area in terms of severe drought. The Forest Service fire signs, with Smokey the Bear on them, still say Extreme Fire danger in the northern part of the state, although we had about .5 inches of rain overnight, after about 6 weeks with no rain.
Also while I was away, the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed into the Mississippi River, with many people injured, and 13 confirmed deaths.
Last week, the southern part of the state received record rainfall, up to 17 inches in one day, forcing evacuations, and resulting in about 8 deaths. In some cases, the dikes and levies, meant to keep the rives from rising and flooding the towns, kept the water from leaving the towns and running into the rivers. Southeastern Minnesota is an area of steeply undulating terrain, coolies, and many rivers, which eventually flow into the Mississippi River. In some places, it was the homes on the lower parts of the slopes that received the most damage, rather than the homes in the flat areas near the river.
One of our relatives thought that her rented home and belongings were destroyed, but the water didn't get to her upstairs apartment, so her things were spared. Her car was washed several blocks down and ruined. She is working in a nursing home that is somehow managing to get by with no running water or electricity.
This same storm swept across southern Wisconsin and on into Ohio, with more devastating results.
Area Lutheran pastors gather to offer support