After being stranded at home for 12 days in March, another four days in April and eight days in September all due to major flooding, Brad Rops and his family are ready for a more normal year.
Rops, who lives north of Davis on the banks of the Vermillion River, said they continue to prepare for flooding and try not to worry.
“Try not to worry because there really isn’t much we can do. If it’s going to rain a lot, it’s going to rain a lot. If the river’s going to come out, it’s going to come out,” Rops said. “I’ll just try to be prepared and take care of things as they happen. To this point, we’re not ready to move yet. Hopefully we’ll get some average years.”
Brad and Kristi have lived on their farm since 1991. In that time, they have seen flooding in 1993, 1995, 2010 and more. During those flooding times, they were stuck for maybe three or four days at a time.
In the past, he was always able to get from his house to the barn. In March the current was so strong he could not get across the yard.
Rops felt prepared before this year since they had been through flooding in the past. After this March flooding, Rops decided to invest in chest waders instead of hip waders. He thought they were set for the next flood and then September came.
“Every flood is different. It wasn’t so cold, but we had a higher water level in September,” he said.
During both the March and September floods, Rops got to the point where he thought he was going to lose the battle and his basement was going to fill with water and he would have to shut off electricity. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that.
“It seemed like we were pushed to the limit but by the grace of God, it didn’t get any worse. Not fun to take, but it wasn’t more than we could handle,” he said.
After the flooding in March, they did not get too carried away in trying to make permanent fixes because experience has shown them that if the water comes out once, it will likely happen a few more times that year. They started doing permanent fixes at the end of the summer, about a week before the September flood.
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