Friday, May 31, 2019

Did the levee break?

THIS FLOODING STUFF is reaching critical mass. Last night everybody was ordered out of West Quincy (across the river from us) because of a levee "breach" at a creek near LaGrange. The Bayview Bridge was closed to traffic coming from Illinois. Our other bridge has been closed for several days. There was all kinds of panic and Social Media Disorder, which is what happens when people say whatever they want on Facebook without proof or any idea what they are talking about.

The TV stations cut in for dramatic live coverage. They showed scintillating shots of cars waiting to cross the bridge, gas stations without gas pumps, and water in a field. The water in the field footage was particularly thrilling, and grainy, and the camera was shaking, and it was made to feel like the water was about to drown West Quincy but probably not the reporter and cameraperson.

It didn't happen. The levee was apparently stabilized and the bridge was open on the Illinois side by 9:30 last night. It's still pretty bad over there and we are all hoping and praying the levees hold and we get through this latest high-water crisis.

Marian Wyse
If in fact the levees fail and West Quincy succumbs to the power of the mighty Mississippi River, it would be an economic catastrophe. It would be a huge blow for us because at least 30 to 40 percent of our business in the music store comes from the good people of Missouri and Iowa. The bridge in Hamilton, which connects Illinois and Iowa to the north of us, is also closed. We'd be on a very high island and it would be a struggle. A few summers ago the Memorial Bridge was closed for six months due to maintenance and we barely hung on to the store.

So we cross our fingers and say a prayer that the levees will hold. The Mississippi River is supposed to crest today or tomorrow, and it will hopefully not rain for a few days. Let's hope everything holds and we don't have to watch more grainy video of water in fields. Or water in general.

Remember to support the small businesses that are impacted by these kinds of issues. Help make the hard times easier all year long. Shop small, shop local, keep your local economy healthy.

Here is a great quote from one of our Missouri customers, Cat Kelso, "Thankful that we are not fighting extreme temperatures, but workers may need snipers to shoot the mosquitoes and buffalo gnats unless they can be trained to airlift the sandbags." The gnats will really keep you moving right now ....

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