Flood notes: Pond finally makes a name for itselfNathanael Deloach of Industrial Township said the pond near his home never had a name — until the storm of 2012 hit last week.
By: News tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
Nathanael Deloach of Industrial Township said the pond near his home never had a name — until the storm of 2012 hit last week.
When Hanson Road near his home about three miles north of Twig flooded it became the Hanson Road pond. Then nearby Maple Hill Drive flooded, forming what he called the Maple Hill Drive pond. Then the roads and ponds flooded together, creating what he jokingly calls the Maple Hill Flood Relief Project.
Part of that project involved his family, nearby relatives and neighbors ferrying in a canoe from their homes to a parked truck on dry land so that they could get out to work and to get groceries for the past week.
Deloach saved the day when he was able to drive his truck to dry land and park it there on Thursday. “Water was coming over the hood, I held my breath and almost closed my eyes,’’ he said. But he made it out.
He’s already got his videos of the storm scene labeled “The Flood of 2012,’’ as he and his family have managed to roll with the waves.
Deloach said he and his wife, Sarah, didn’t want their 7-year-old son, Josiah, and 2-year-old daughter, Noelle, to be frightened by their predicament so they tried to make it as fun for them as they could.
“It’s one of those deals where either you sulk and be frustrated over it, or you make the most of it and try to make it fun,’’ he said. “I took the kids to the end of the road to swim in the pond. My feeling is if you can’t beat the flood, just join it.”
Even 87-year-old grandma Irene Deloach took a ride in the canoe despite having some complications from recent surgery. “She said she wanted to do it for the fun of it,’’ he said. “We took her all the way across to our side of the pond.”
Construction crew helps out
There is only one way to drive out of Terri Williams’ neighborhood on Caribou Lake, but Midway Road was under construction on Monday when she tried to leave for her afternoon shift as a driver for the Duluth Transit Authority.
A crew from Ulland Brothers was working on replacing a center line culvert and she wasn’t able to get through.
“I love my job and I hate to miss it,” she said.
She considered her options, including taking a boat across the lake and meeting her husband at the boat landing on the other side. But the construction crew had a plan.
They filled in part of a 12- to 14-foot hole with a sloped dirt trail for her to walk across. One of the workers grabbed her hand and walked her down the hill, across the culvert opening and up the other side.
“He refused to let go until he had passed my hand off to another gentleman,” Williams said. “They literally shut down their job and took care of me and went out of their way. It was so kind. People don’t realize how much those little gestures are appreciated in our lives. That memory will stay with me forever.”
Ulland Brothers vice president and project manager Ryan Swanson said Tuesday that he hadn’t heard about the situation but that he could see his crew doing that.
“In road construction it’s always hard because there are so many wants and needs. It’s hard to get every need met,” he said. “As much as possible we always try to help people out on the projects we’re on. I think we have a good reputation throughout the area trying to help where we can.”
Williams said her husband met her on the other side of the culvert and she got to work 10 minutes early.
Woodland Hills crew to the rescue
Sheila Packa is thankful for the hard work of a crew from Woodland Hills cleaning up the aftermath mess of last week’s rain.
“We moved into a house in Chester Park last week — just in time for the storm,” she said Tuesday. “The rain completely washed out the street above us and dumped lots of gravel and mud in our front yard, about 4 to 5 inches deep. It covered the grass and made it impossible to even find the sidewalk.”
A neighbor suggested Packa contact Woodland Hills residential treatment center for children to see if they could help.
“We called and they said they would love to come out,” Packa said. “So a crew of about 12 teenage boys with rakes and shovels and a wheelbarrow arrived.”
In three hours on Saturday, the crew cleaned the lawn, using the gravel and mud to fill gullies created by Wednesday’s rain and flooding.
Packa provided the crew with lemonade and ice cream bars.
“We tried to pay them and they said, ‘No, we never take any money,’ ” Packa said.
“I could not see my lawn because there was a river running over it” on Wednesday, Packa said. “One of the boys told me they want people to feel good about Woodland Hills.”
“They were so warm and friendly,” she said. “We had just moved in a week ago. It was a very nice welcome.”