Wednesday, June 16, 2010
It's been raining a tad bit in the Midwest. I thought I'd run into something like this in Oklahoma Monday - I had to go through OKC on the way to Hartshorne (east of McAlester) and kept hearing about how I44 was closed at US77 - but I wasn't routed that way. I was pretty nervous with the route I did have - normally I come into town on I40 eastbound and take I44 south to I240 back around to I40. There must have been some construction they didn't want me going through, so they had me turn off at SH18 in Yukon and drive to SH152 through Mustang. I figured that would be where I'd find water across the road - but it wasn't that bad. SH152 took me to I44 and back on the normal track. I got to run in some severe rain over by Henryetta, but no flooding.
But, today - on US83 north of Thedford NE - I ran into what you see above. The road crews had a message board up on both sides warning everyone to slow down to pass through the water. I've been traveling that road for six years now, and never seen water cross it anywhere like that. All the rivers are close to being out of their banks - such as the Platte. Of course this is western Nebraska and downriver in eastern NE it is flooding.
Saturday night the Poor Farm got an unheard of rainfall of around 3.5" - I'm sure we've had that much or more before, but it's been a day or three, if you know what I mean and I think that you do. The wheat is all ripening nicely, and it needed a bit of cooler and moist weather to finish heading out and not shrivel. Sis and I have no wheat this year due to crop rotation - dryland farming practices in our neck of the woods requires that the ground lie fallow after a crop for a season. We could probably plant some milo - but in all the years Dad planted any, he only had a few really successful milo harvests. Of course, wheat is about the same way - it will look promising until the crop needs rain desperately and doesn't get it, and then you can't get into the field because it's too muddy to cut what little you do have, because it rained too much too late. It's all about timing.
So, when the clouds churn and get that sickly yellow, gray and dark purple look, the wind rises, and little chunks of hail start to fall - I worry about my neighbors' crops. They're not in this farming thing for fun, even if that is about all they get out of it some years.