Hello, The Dakotas are a good place to live. Oh, we may have a drought. We may have to fight ice and snow for a few months of the year. The wind may blow from the northwest for days at a time.
We do get an occasional flood along the Red, the Mouse, Heart, or Beaver Creek. But when we have a flood, most of the time we pile up some sand bags, or maybe have to evacuate a relatively small number of people, let the water recede, then move back in and clean up. Minot, Grand Forks, and Fargo have been hit hardest, but the end is always in sight.
The flooding in Texas is beyond anything I can imagine. And it happens at a time when Montana and several western states are on fire. Just doesn’t seem right. If those western states could just get a inch or two of the several feet that have fallen along the gulf, man that would be nice.
I’ve been to Houston a few times. Back when we were hotshot ting. Houston on a dry day isn’t real comfortable. At least not to this northern cowboy. I imagine that with the suburbs, it must stretch dang near a hundred miles across. Eight lanes of traffic going either direction on a number of highways. Scared the heck out of me the first couple of trips in.
We always scheduled our stop in Houston so we could beat rush hour in the morning. Stay an hour or two north of Houston and get in early. I tell you what, you don’t complain about the morning traffic in Dickinson after you’ve been to Houston!
But what always got me was the heat. I mean even early in the morning. You would get out to unstrap your trailer and that stifling heat would hit you. Hot and humid! Even if you had just showered a bit ago, in a few minutes you are soaked from perspiration. And it isn’t like sweat from pitching bales. I can’t imagine what those people will be going through even as the floodwaters recede and the sun starts beating down on them.
I watch and read a lot of rural news. You know. Markets, weather, and other agricultural things. The areas in Texas that are being flooded are home to over a quarter of the cattle in Texas. Something like 1.3 million mama cows. I’ve seen several news stories with films of cowboys moving hundreds of cows through lots of water trying to get them to high ground. Sometimes higher ground is miles away. I hope they all made it.
Makes me realize my problems are pretty simple. Dad says I’ve always been lucky. I guess he’s right. And if you are reading this, not fighting fire, not fighting flood, I guess you are pretty lucky too.
Hang on Texas.
Dean Meyer is an area rancher and former North Dakota State Senator. His ‘Hat Tips’ column can be found in papers all across the state.
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