July 5, 2013

The Flood That Was Too Dry

For some reason that is always how it seems to happen around here.  Whenever we get a flood, the weather turns hot and dry.  It always seems to make for a nice contrast.

The insane amount of rain that fell in the southern part of our watershed two weeks ago brought us our second flood of the year.  This one kind of surprised me though, as we didn't get a lot of rain around Grand Forks during that time.  Last Tuesday I was driving across the bridge on 9 and realized how quickly the coulee was starting to back up.  I checked the hydrograph on my phone, saw that the river had already come up from 15' to almost 21'.....and decided it might be a good idea to go check on the river pump, which we had put out in the river a few weeks ago.

Good thing I did.  We almost lost the entire thing down to Canada!  We managed to hook up the winch on the truck, I threw on a pair of chest waders, and we somehow managed to get it unhooked and pulled out without major incident.  Crisis narrowly averted...

The new floating dock setup for the river pump when we put it
out in the river at 15'

2 weeks later the river had come up 6' and we nearly lost the entire
thing.  Removal was a bit tricky at this stage....
Unfortunately while the river is high, it means the only way to fill our irrigation reservoir is to pump water from the ponds across from 14.  It is a really horrible setup; loud, unsightly, and burns a lot of gas.  But we really don't have any other option until the river gets down below 19' when we can put the river transfer pump back out in it.  And of course, we hit the hottest and driest stretch of the summer thus far while the river is up.  

Oddly enough for early July, the humidity has been absent to go along with the heat also.  A dry heat of course means that the soil is drying out quicker and the turf plants require more water, so the irrigation system is finally getting its first good workout of the year.  On average we have been putting out about 250,000 gallons of water nightly on the course, and as of right now are struggling to keep the irrigation pond full with the three, 3" pumps that are refilling it.  Either some decent rains or the river dropping quickly would be really ideal for us right now.....

Water in the right rough on 18

Crossing the suspension bridge on 17 was
a bit dicey for about a week or so...

This picture sums the entire situation up.  Watering the flood.  The water
had crept up high enough around the edge of some holes to get hit
by the sprinklers.  Seems like the perfect oxymoron.

At this point the water is mostly off the course.  This time of the year, with the soil, water, and air temperatures as warm as they are, any grass that was underwater for even just a day is dead.  We have some reseeding to do on the right side of 15 and 18, the right bench on 9, and the left rough on the tee side of 17.  Fortunately though, we were only able to seed those areas about 2 weeks ago since the rest of the spring had been so wet.  Not much real grass had really taken in them, mostly we had just done some weed control, so no major loss really.  We will get some ryegrass in the ground first thing next week and hope that we can get some of it to take quickly so there can at least be some grass in those areas for the rest of the summer.

The lower bench on 9 is completely dead, but had mostly been weeds
the entire spring anyway so at least now we get a clean
slate to seed into.

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