August 27 , 2007
Storms hit early this morning bringing lots of vivid lightning and heavy rains.
I was rudely awakened by a clap of thunder at about 4:30 this morning. The forecast yesterday was for only a 30 percent chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms. By the time I went to bed last night, the National Weather Service had increased the chance to 60 percent. I had checked the radar around 11 pm, and there wasn't a drop to be seen. During the night however, storms formed along the Minnesota/Iowa border and headed east.
So at 4:30, I ran out the door and moved the car to the foot of the driveway. I was afraid that if any more of the hill gave way, I may be stuck up the hill with no way of driving out. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I just didn't want to take any chances.
By 10 this morning, the rains were over. My rain gauge measured 1.59 inches. Hah! Just a mere drop in the bucket compared to last week. So down the road I went to check out our driveway: not too bad. If anything, last nights rain made the driveway look better. It was interesting to find that most of the driveway still has gravel on it. When the mud came sliding down the hills, most of the mud just slid over the gravel and once the mud was cleared from the road, the underlying gravel was still there.
With that said, the driveway is in desperate need of at least a couple loads of gravel. That and the hills alongside the driveway need to be stabilized. The best solution would be to get an excavator in here to grade the hillside. I'll probably make some calls this week to see if I can get someone out here to survey the situation.
All things considered we are very, very fortunate that our driveway is all we have to contend with..
For those who happened to see it on CNN, a reporter visited one of the homes that were totaled near Brownsville, MN. The reporter focused on the subject of homeowner's insurance. The people that owned this house were unaware that their house was not covered by mudslides. They had been a loyal customer of their insurance agent for over 30 years, but because the standard homeowner's policy does not cover mudslides, they will not be receiving a single penny.
If an insurance company does or does not offer mudslide coverage is their choice. I don't have a problem with that. I do however have concerns when residents think they are covered, but are not. I would like to see Minnesota adopt a policy that states that homeowners must be informed by their insurance agent as to if their policy does or does not cover mudslide damage.
My brother Bill has been in the insurance business his entire career and his office is checking into which (if any) insurance companies cover mudslide damage. More on that later.
Well...the sun has just poked through the clouds. I'm sure it will help heat things up to fuel more thunderstorms for tonight. Ya just gotta love this place.
A NEW MINNESOTA RECORD
Hokah, Minnesota received 15.10 inches the night of the flood. This surpasses the 10.84 inches recorded at Fort Ripley, Minnesota back on July 22, 1972. La Crescent is the "Apple Capital" of Minnesota and now Hokah is the "24-hour Rain Capital" of Minnesota.