I spent the weekend, or at least 24 hours of it, in hip waders, knee deep or more in mud and water – and did I mention it was raining. My uncle’s house in Rice, MN has been flooding for the past 3 weeks. He has had gasoline powered pumps running basically non stop to keep as much of the house as he can, dry.

We had to build a de-watering system, fast. To get an idea of the amount of water we are dealing with, go dig a hole in a sandy lakefront beach, and watch how fast the water comes in, and the hole fills in – let me know when you get to 10 feet deep.

His house is in what’s called a 500 year flood zone. That means that the water should reach the level of his house once every 500 years. This is the second time it’s happened; last time was in 1996. The insuarance people wouldn’t sell him flood insurance because they said it was a one in a million shot for his property to flood. He’s so lucky he should be buying lottery tickets like crazy.

In 1996 he used a dozer to build a dike around his 15 acre property and spent weeks building it. It worked somewhat, but because the area is so sandy, and the water was so high for an extended period of time, the water eventually moved laterally under the dike through the ground and into his basement.

To combat the water, the old Conner Excavating crew was back together again. For those of you who thought I was just a computer dork my whole life, you’re right. But, I was a computer dork that was also a heavy equipment operator, and dump truck driver.

My dad, my younger brother and I, put drain tile around his house (in the rain), and then built an elaborate de-watering system (using roughly 300 ft of drain tile pipe and washed rock) around his property. It should more than adequately de-water his entire property if not the tri county area. It will also allow for fast removal of any standing water thanks to the series of drain boxes we placed at ground level in conjunction with the drain tile system (which was at about 4 feet below ground level for the yard, and about 8 to 10 feet down by the house).

The unusually high water table has rendered his septic system all but useless. We have to put a mound system in as soon as possible.

I’m sore, but I’m glad we got as much done as we did. Programming doesn’t prepare you for heavy physical labor.