Cottage is toast!!

Okay, it has been awhile since I posted.  Just got busy practicing law, boating, RVing and other stuff.   But the cottage did not really survive the 2011 flood, at least in our opinion.  FEMA says it can be repaired.  The water came up into the living area and then the main center support beam cracked and caved in.  We did have flood insurance, and it is expensive.  So we filed a claim.   FEMA subcontracts out the adjustments to specialists and then has very complicated formulas for reimbursement.  FEMA does not consider anything totalled unless it was under water from the tip of the top of the chimney on down.  So we got $15,000 on our claim.

Along the way, all the other occupants of our big house on the hill moved out, so it is really too big for just two of us.  Along with three acres of land to take care of, and I just turned 60 years old.

So we have been working with Aspen Homes in Bettendorf to come up with a new house on the river, after tearing down the cottage.  It will be a retirement home.  We have firmed up the plans and are currently running it through the city of Leclaire for approval.  As required by flood plain rules, it will be elevated five feet.  After the city approval, we will need to run it through the Army Corps of Engineers in Rock Island.

More updates and pictures later.



Birds Point–New Madrid Floodway, History

The lower Mississippi River flood protection is more than just super levees.  It also has an emergency back up plan, floodways.  The Corps has not had to use that back up plan much, but this week they breached the Birds Point levee, which is all part of the back up plan.

There is a long history here;  it goes back to when Cairo was a much bigger town.

The Corps has put up a history which is quite interesting, check it out:

Crest Day, April 21, 2011, Mississippi River

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Crest two days away, worse than 2008.

I am pretty sure I will not be able to drive to the cottage tomorrow.

Lake Gibson, the flood in the side yard above.

The houses just up river are a bit drier, built on fill.  We hope to get there too.

I walked around to the back (not easy) and took a picture looking past the well head and out towards the river.  I think it will come in the back door tomorrow for sure.  The breezeway is on a slab and the carpet was already wet.

The city of Leclaire’s riverfront park is under water.  I don’t think the riverboat Twilight is heading out on its trip to Dubuque soon.

Going to beat June 2008 crest!!

The Mississippi River is coming up real fast.  We called the utility company to turn off all power tonight.  I think the river will come over the road, Canal Shore Drive, tonight.  Parts of it are already underwater.  Our cottage is the white one, and there is water under the front part.  I took these pictures about 6:30 pm tonight.  Nasty weather today, in the 30’s for temperature and times of heavy rain.

Wish you were here!!

Ole Man River Keeps on Coming

We still have another foot and a half to crest late next week, not taking into account any rain up north this week.  It is not over the bank, but we have about three inches under the front half of the cottage already.  Yuck.

Why does it flood more just north of Leclaire?

I have a theory.  If one looks at the maps of the river in the 1930’s, which is before lock and dam 14 was constructed in 1940, you can see there are islands north of Leclaire on the Iowa side.  These were all flooded when the pool was raised.  But now they lie just below the surface of the river, and certainly take up displacement that would otherwise be taken by the river water; it has to go somewhere so it goes even higher and floods.

You can try this link to the Iowa State server which has historical aerial pictures, pretty neat.

River is higher today

The weather service is predicting a crest late next week, but will not say if it will be final crest since rain and snow up north could cause another crest.  The river was noticeably higher in front of our cottage and the water (or Lake Gibson as we call it) is starting to form in the side yard.

River going up, but looks the same to me

River level in front of the cottage looks about the same, but Weather Service says river is going up.  I took this picture this afternoon.

Still three feet from coming over River Bank at cottage

Not much new to report, water level actually dropped a few inches.