Hens Do Crow! June 28, 2019

By Deborah Banish and Bill Anderson

The huge cottonwood tree that stood in front of the house at 217 First Street for 117 years came crashing down at about 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25, felled by the chain saw wielded by Jerry Schumacher of Oakes, with the assistance of the track-hoe operated by Calvin Jacobson. Water poured out of the tree as if it was running out of a hose reported Denny Pherson of Rutland, one of the many witnesses who gathered to watch the giant tree come down. Cottonwoods are hydrophytes, water pumps, and Mr. Schumacher stated that a cottonwood of this size would take in a couple hundred gallons of water a day. After it was downed, an examination of the base of the tree showed that about two feet of the center of the 7′ diameter trunk was hollow, rotted away over many years. According to Mr. Schumacher, the huge hollow tree was a disaster waiting to happen, and the lightning strike that split the tree, requiring its removal, actually averted a more devastating occurrence later on, when a northwest wind might have toppled the tree onto the house it had stood near since 1902. Saving a section of the trunk for a chain-saw sculpture project had been considered, but the chain saw sculptors contacted did not recommend it, as cottonwood tends to fall apart once it dries out. On the morning of Wednesday, June 26, water was still running out of the large sections of the trunk remaining on the yard. Mr. Schumacher had begun the removal project last Saturday, June 22, but a problem with the large bucket lift used to reach the branches at the top of the tree delayed completion of the felling process until Tuesday. So passes into history a landmark of the prairie.

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Under Water!

Today it was time for sandbagging at the Sargent Central School. Water has flooded the football field and is getting closer to the school’s air ventilation system. Thanks to several Good Samaritans another row of sandbags was added to the pile which should help for a while — but we’re expecting rain. There are lots of areas that are already under water and the Sargent County Emergency Management has issued a road report that includes today’s road conditions. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Drive safely out there and stay home if possible. If you venture out, watch carefully ’cause not even the County Highways are safe. Check out today’s closings here.

Water Report

Well, it’s probably time for a water report for the southern Rutland area.    Water has been backing up on the south side of town and yesterday it was about to go over the top of Cooper Street/County #3, just east of Main Street.  Taking quick action, the City Council asked to have the drain cleared and last night there was Calvin with the Track-Hoe clearing out the drains.  This morning the water had receded and the water from town headed south  two miles to connect to the Wild Rice River.  The Wild Rice itself has been rising and falling, changing daily.  The new County culverts are holding steady while various township roads have fallen to the mighty force of water and some days the road is passable and the next day it may be submerged.  It’s not the time to take a late night cruise ’cause one never knows which road will get you home.

Water Report

Water ReportWell, I’m glad to report that the Wild Rice River has stopped running over our township road.  The change in the water flow is due to the fact that a portion of County Road 10 here South of Rutland collapsed on Wednesday.  Yesterday a portion of the westside lane fell into the Wild Rice near the culvert.  This morning the rest of that portion over the culvert collapsed.  We are lucky in that we can get to town easy but I pity those who live south of that culvert because now they have a bigger challenge of getting into Rutland to enjoy the amenities it offers!

Water Power

Rutland WaterfallIt has been a while since I’ve blogged.  I didn’t mention the snowstorms or freezing weather of another long winter.  Those have come and gone.  The big issue throughout the State — mainly Fargo and surrounding communities to the north and south — is the force of nature in the form of water.  Rutland and its area is not immune.  There are “holding ponds” in Rutland proper.   We’ve got a wonderful view of the water on the westside preventing us from getting on the blacktop (Hwy 10) leading to Rutland.  The water from the Wild Rice River is slowly receding but it is a force not to be reckoned with.  Hopefully we won’t have to sandbag this time like we did two years ago (and in 1997!).