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Wed Mar 13, 2019, 12:35 PM

The Upper Midwest is Melting....Melting

I woke up this morning to hear my basement sump pump working too hard. The snow is starting to melt, and we have a few days coming with temps in the 40s and rain falling.

So, after I got up, I unplugged the sump pump so it wouldn't burn out its motor. Then, I tromped through 18" of snow in the back yard to inspect its outlet pipe and hose. I had to expose the outlet pipe by removing the snow cover for about 8' from the house along its path.

As I expected, it was frozen and full of ice, so the sump pump couldn't do anything. Fortunately, I had anticipated this and had some new pipe, a new 25' hose, and the fittings needed in the garage. So, I sawed off the PVC outlet pipe about a foot from the house and installed a new fitting and the hose, draping the hose atop the deep snow in the yard. A temporary fix.

Back in the house, I plugged the sump pump back in and listened to it pumping out its basin and then the anti-backflow ball valve bouncing after it shut off. Once again, I'm good to go for a while. I'll have to drain the hose manually if the weather gets cold enough to freeze water in the new hose, though.

Once the snow is gone, I'm going to re-engineer the whole outlet thing so it drains better and won't freeze again next year.

The warmer weather and the rain will finally clear the compacted snow and ice off our street, but today, the road is bumpy, rutted, and slippery still. My neighbor and I dug out the storm drain in the street earlier so water can drain from the street. But, that's just one storm drain, there are thousands of them in St. Paul, MN, and most of them are buried under compacted snow and ice, so we're going to get some street flooding. Not in front of my house, though. Our drain will work fine.

We had a lot of snow, and it's all going to melt pretty fast, according to the weather report. We're going to get flooding from our rivers, guaranteed. The Mississippi runs through the middle of the city, and there are two other rivers in the Metro area that will also flood, no doubt. We're in for an ugly month or so.

In a week, if the weather holds as predicted, we'll have brown yards to look at and all the winter's snow will be gone off our roads. Spring may actually arrive. But, no time to relax. Last year we got 18" of snow in the second week of April.

And the sump pump just now ran through another cycle as I was typing.

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Reply The Upper Midwest is Melting....Melting (Original post)
MineralMan Wednesday OP
Poiuyt Wednesday #1
MineralMan Wednesday #3
Wellstone ruled Wednesday #2
MineralMan Wednesday #4
Wellstone ruled Wednesday #5
MineralMan Wednesday #6
Wellstone ruled Wednesday #8
MineralMan Wednesday #15
Wellstone ruled Wednesday #17
MineralMan Wednesday #18
Wellstone ruled Wednesday #22
MineralMan Wednesday #23
Wellstone ruled Wednesday #24
MineralMan Wednesday #7
Wellstone ruled Wednesday #9
MineralMan Wednesday #10
Wellstone ruled Wednesday #13
Chin music Wednesday #28
MineralMan Wednesday #36
Chin music Wednesday #40
The Velveteen Ocelot Wednesday #31
MineralMan Wednesday #37
Wellstone ruled Wednesday #39
Poiuyt Wednesday #11
MineralMan Wednesday #12
Poiuyt Wednesday #25
PasadenaTrudy Wednesday #14
MineralMan Wednesday #16
Vinca Wednesday #19
MineralMan Wednesday #20
roamer65 Wednesday #21
Chin music Wednesday #26
Moostache Wednesday #27
The Genealogist Wednesday #29
xmas74 Wednesday #30
The Genealogist Wednesday #34
xmas74 Thursday #41
pamdb Wednesday #32
The Velveteen Ocelot Wednesday #33
MineralMan Wednesday #38
The Truth Is Here Wednesday #35
Hortensis Thursday #42
Peacetrain Thursday #43

Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 12:40 PM

1. The Upper Midwest is melting

and going right into my basement.

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Response to Poiuyt (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 12:45 PM

3. I'm afraid a lot of people are going to experience that.

Our house's drain system is pretty good, and we rarely get any water in the basement. Knock on wood.

But, it was really important to get that sump pump working this morning. I'm glad I bought the stuff to do it earlier. I also have a brand new sump pump in a box that I can install in about half an hour if the current one quits.

I still need to go out and get the snow off the basement window wells, though. Most are OK, but a couple were buried by the snowblower. Yuck!

My office is in the basement, so...

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 12:42 PM

2. Make sure you pull the snow off

the lower four feet of your roof as to prevent Ice Damming tonight.

Just got a text from our Niece west of Redwood,total white out and she has water coming in around the Chimney. The Flashing let go last night.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 12:47 PM

4. We get ice dams every year, but we have big eaves

on our house, so they've never caused a leak. they'll be gone by the end of the weekend, anyhow. The icicles are already gone and the gutters are running freely. I'm not concerned. this old house has been through 65 Minnesota winters with no water coming in from the roof.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 01:11 PM

5. Had one of those up in the Northwest Burbs for 37 years.

Loved the 3 foot overhangs. Once those Eve toughs start running,hey,summer might show up on the 4 th.

Looks like the Downtown Airport will be under water for several months to come.


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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 01:14 PM

6. Flooding is hard to predict, but I expect you're right.

They've done some flood-proofing at Holman Field, but I don't know if it's enough.

The Minnesota River is going to flood, absolutely, and it will add its floodwaters to the Mississippi, not far from St. Paul. I've fished that river juncture many times. It could get ugly.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 01:20 PM

8. The River Channel by Holman

area has needed Dredging for decades and that happening most likely will never happen due to the Contaminated silt.

Going to be one long spring along the Minnesota River and On the Saint Croix.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 02:42 PM

15. That's how it seems to me, too.

The southern and northern parts of the state got a lot more snow than we did in the Metro. And western Wisconsin - Oh, boy!

So, as you say, the Minnesota River, the St. Croix, and the north-flowing Red River are in for it, I think. Start filling sandbags now. That's what they're doing in Stillwater, already, along with building their dike to protect the downtown area.

Still, the Mississippi isn't going to be immune, either. Especially south of the Metro where the St. Croix and a whole bunch of minor rivers flow into it. Iowa is going to get slammed, too.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #15)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 02:53 PM

17. Looking more and more like the spring of 68'.

Roads in Western Minny were under water going into late June that year. And the Dikes built near Monti and Granite stayed in place till September. Some are still in place yet today because of the River Silting .

We were displaced that Spring for five months until our House could be dried out and mold free. First time in recorded History of any flooding on our side of the River.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #17)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 03:00 PM

18. Wow! I sure hope not.

We're not out of the woods on snow, either. Remember last April. My wife and I were in California, visiting my parents. We came home to 16" of heavy spring snow in the driveway. Fortunately, the city had already plowed the street, so we could park there. One of my neighbors had used his snowblower to make a path from the street to our side door, so we could get in the house.

I spent most of the next day moving snow. I can't remember the date, but it was the middle of April. Two days later, it was all melted and gone. One or two storms like that that melt quickly could make the flooding much, much worse, I think.

It just started raining here, and is supposed to rain all night and into tomorrow. Maybe 2". That's going to melt a lot of snow quickly, since it's in the 40s here in the metro. Big problems for residential streets. Almost nobody has cleared the storm drains near their homes, and the city doesn't have the manpower to do it.

It's gonna get ugly, I think. We're lucky in my neighborhood. The highest point in St. Paul is just a couple of blocks away, and our street has a fair down grade, so the water goes somewhere else. It's all headed for the low ground downtown.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #18)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 03:42 PM

22. Not going to drive back to Minny this summer.

Looking like detour city and that area south of Souix Falls gets just nuts with as much as two hundred miles of extra drive times. Will fly this time. Enough of the hassles.

And with the proposed dollar increase in fuel prices to come,hey,looks like the Bird is the cheapest route.


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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #22)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 03:47 PM

23. Ah, yes, the Season of Construction

I had to drive to Sioux Falls a few years ago. I-35 was a disaster, with only one lane available most of the time. I-90 wasn't much better. coming back, I turned off I-94 onto Hwy 169, shortly after crossing the border, and enjoyed a leisurely drive on that nice road. It actually saved some time over the trip out.

Why did I drive to Sioux Falls? My wife was born there, and her mother grew up on a farm near Baltic, so it was "old home week." In my late mother-in-laws words, "Uffda!"

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #23)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 03:55 PM

24. Know the Baltic area well.

Younger Brother lives up the Road a bit. Ufda,another Scandinavian curse word.

We usefully take 90 over to Worthington and then up 60 to Mankato and then into the Cities. Or we take 90 to Hills-Beaver Creek and onto 23 up to Marshall then 19 to Henderson. Depends on Road Construction like you mentioned.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 01:18 PM

7. Our eaves are well ventilated, too.

There's an ice dam, for sure. I can see it. But, once the icicles are gone and the gutters are running, they go away pretty quickly. I sort of expect the south-facing pitch of the roof to be snow free by the end of the weekend. The rear half of the roof, though, will probably have snow on it until April.

I'm always happy to see Winter arrive, but am far happier to see it leave.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 01:23 PM

9. Had the same vented eves.

We added the 6 inch wide Gutters and down spouts in order to increase water flow. BTW,been down that road with the Sump. Like you caught it in time. Ended up running a heat tape through the sucker.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #9)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 01:28 PM

10. Yeah, I was glad I caught that pump.

What I'm going to do is to elevate the outlet so I can maintain a decent slope on the drain pipe in the yard. That way, it will fully drain each time the pump runs. I'm going to keep the end of the drain pipe above ground about 6" to allow the water to melt any snow that accumulates during the winter. As long as the pipe drains completely, it can't freeze up.

All of the elevation will be inside the basement, so that water won't freeze, either.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #10)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 02:19 PM

13. Sounds like you got a handle

on the grade issue. Good luck and stay warm. The back side of this Land Hurricane is just now coming through Vegas. The wind is still pushing twenty in the gusts and switching directions.


And for those folks out on the Prairie,please stay inside if you can. Been there and done that routine.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #10)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 06:30 PM

28. What about heat tape on the pipe when you redo it?

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Response to Chin music (Reply #28)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 07:44 PM

36. Good idea!

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #36)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 08:43 PM

40. Glad to help. I use it at myself and it works.

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Response to Wellstone ruled (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 06:58 PM

31. I was working as a flight instructor at Holman Field in 2001, the last time it flooded, and

I was also flying out of there when it flooded in 1993 and again in 1997. I remember we had to move all the airplanes to Fleming Field up on the bluff south of STP; they put up a little portable air traffic control tower near the runway, and it was kind of fun to hang out in there and watch the controllers make fun of bad student landings. The flooding in 1993 was especially bad - just about the whole airport was completely under water.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #31)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 07:48 PM

37. I sometimes monitor the Holman tower.

When events are going on here, like the superbowl. Lots of private jets flying in.

When Trump came one time, I was doing that, and air force fighters were doing approaches there, just in case.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #31)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 08:37 PM

39. How well I remember.

We were one of your Service providers at the time. Lots of your Private Guy's ended up at Eden Prairie .

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 01:42 PM

11. People in Minnesota a hardy lot

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Response to Poiuyt (Reply #11)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 02:13 PM

12. You sort of have to be, I guess.

I just came back in from shoveling snow off a basement window well. The snowblower covered it up when I cleared the driveway. You can't leave it there, or it will melt and come into the basement through the window. I have one other one that is covered with snow, but I'll dig that out tomorrow.

I'm too old to shovel for very long. As soon as I get even a little out of breath, I quit and then go back to it later. For that job, I have a big aluminum grain scoop. It works better for moving snow than a regular snow shovel, but is useless for clearing walks and stuff. It's amazing all the tools you have to have to deal with the snow around here.

Depending on the job, I have several snow shovels and snow pushers of different designs, that grain scoop, a snow-blower, a square-bladed garden shovel for really hard snow, an ice chipper, and even a 20-lb digging rod with a chisel tip in case I have to break up thick ice. I used that last tool to help dig out a street storm drain the other day, working with a neighbor. It's been interesting for a California guy to learn all that stuff.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #12)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 06:24 PM

25. You and me both, MineralMan

I live in Northeast Wisconsin. This has been a winter for the ages.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 02:27 PM

14. I'm so glad I live in SoCal

My parents moved out here from Waukegan in the early 1950s. Best thing they could have done! Snow is nice to see from a distance.

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #14)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 02:45 PM

16. But those earthquakes!

I lived in southern and the central coast of California for over 50 years. Earthquakes were rare events, and big, destructive ones even rarer. Mostly, we just rode them out and went on with our day.

You can't just go on with your day when there's 18" of snow in the driveway. No way...

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 03:04 PM

19. Days like that make me think it's time to move to a condo. LOL.

Our entrance path from the driveway has turned into a mud pit. My husband had to lay some plywood pieces on the ground so we wouldn't slip. And, as I'm typing, 6 huge turkeys walked across the snow and are attacking the compost pile by the garden. I really do love country living.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #19)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 03:05 PM

20. I hear you!

Just don't get a riverfront condo, though. Buy a nice one on a hill.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 03:12 PM

21. No worries, by 2040 you will have weather in MN like it is now in TN and northern GA.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 06:28 PM

26. Hope you are ok.

Sounds like you are a little worried. Always something w a house. Good that you knew what to do.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 06:29 PM

27. That water will soon be flooding the Mississippi delta...

I am already seeing it start on the tributaries near me outside of St. Louis and that's BEFORE the major melt water makes it downstream!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 06:37 PM

29. We didn't get anything like that kind of snow in SW Missouri, but my sump system is still messed up

Wish I had your know-how to work on it. One of my pumps is down, so the backup is doing all the work. I have a waterproofing system, as I live next to a big drainage ditch and I'd be flooded every rain. Luckily, the outlet for my system is OK, but you do have to watch in case it gets clogged.

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Response to The Genealogist (Reply #29)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 06:48 PM

30. W Central MO is just as bad right now.

Storms then sunshine. Some of the county roads are closed due to flooding.

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Response to xmas74 (Reply #30)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 07:14 PM

34. It has rained here, no major flooding in Springfield, but the wind has been nuts

I've seen several big trees down and damaged buildings from it.

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Response to The Genealogist (Reply #34)

Thu Mar 14, 2019, 03:06 AM

41. I will be in Springfield in a couple of weeks.

We have winter guard championship there.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 07:01 PM

32. melting

Supposed to be in mid 60's tomorrow here in Grand Rapids. Believe it when I see it. Still so much ice under the snow. Plus all the branches buried in the snow and ice from the polar vortex. This has been the worst winter!!! Can't wait until we can get away for at least a month in year or two.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 07:09 PM

33. Last night, every once in awhile I'd hear a loud shhh-WHUMP

which was the sound of icicles and snow sliding off my roof and falling to the ground.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #33)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 07:53 PM

38. Yup. Our house makes all kinds of noises when it gets

Down to 20 below or colder. Creaks and pops and sometimes banging sounds.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2019, 07:17 PM

35. *looks outside*

 

Nope, still bomb cycloning as of right now....

But the good news is that Colorado'll melt and dig itself out of Winter Bombalypse by Sunday. At least the Denver metro area.

Looking forward to warmer weather.. spring/fall is my favorite time of the year..

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 14, 2019, 06:44 AM

42. I enjoy and appreciate these views into more northern worlds.

We're in central Florida right now, where the new leaves are breaking and all the critters are paired up and making babies. Best wishes for dry basements, soon-to-be-clear walks, no April snowstorms, for sure no flooding, and those lovely, very enviable summers to come.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Mar 14, 2019, 08:19 AM

43. I hear you.... we bought a new house a couple of years ago..and first thing we did

was put in a back up sump pump But if the ice is in the drain line.. you have issues.. good luck.. all the rivers around us are starting to flood.. from ice melt , rain, and frozen ground.. kind of a bizarre combination.. makes no sense.. melting and frozen ground..but there you have it.. it has no where to go but our houses.. yikes... thinking about you.. Iowa is having issues too..

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