National Guard, Army Corps of Engineers Arrive to Break Ice Jam Causing Bismarck Flooding

Bismarck, North Dakota — A major winter storm turned into an unexpected disaster in Bismarck when ice jams blocked the Missouri River and caused flooding in the Fox Island and Southport neighborhoods. Governor John Hoeven called on the Corps of Engineers for assistance, and they began arriving Monday night, during the blizzard, along with a team from FEMA.

Governor Hoeven asked the Corps to slow the flow from Garrison Dam, about 35 miles above Bismarck on the Missouri, when the river began to rise and fill roads in the southwest part of Bismarck. By Wednesday, the Corps completely stopped water flow into the river, something that has never before happened in the 50+ year history of Garrison Dam (the largest earth-filled dam in the country). The rising waters were caused mainly by large chunks of thick ice that entered the Missouri from the flooding of two tributaries, the Heart and Knife rivers. The large chunks came together and made a large ice jam.

On Wednesday, March 25, an Army Corps of Engineers expert in ice jams, along with an expert in explosives, were set down on the ice by Black Hawk helicopters flown down by the Minot Air Base. They also dropped air boats, since the edges of the ice jam were dangerously thin. In the portions of the jam that were between 2 and 3 feet thick, the engineers drilled between 76 and 80 holes in two parallel rows down the length of the ice, and filled them with C-4 explosive matieral. Their hope was that the result would be a channel through which river water could flow downstream. The first explosion went off at about 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The National Guard protected the public by maintaining a boundary 3000 feet away from the east bank of the river.

The first explosion caused some deterioration of the ice, according to National Guard General Spryncznatyk in a press conference Wednesday night. To improve the river flow, the team of engineers, helicopter pilots, and National Guard returned to the ice at around 8:00 p.m., and repeated the process, using lights set out on the ice. They exploded the C-4 at about 11:00 p.m. A third explosion is planned for this afternoon.

Meanwhile, more flooding started in other parts of the city Wednesday morning when river water caused storm drains to back up. Three trailer parks in south-central Bismarck were evacuated, and a fourth put on alert. Pumping trucks owned by the city, along with two more provided by the National Guard, started pumping Wednesday afternoon and are still hard at work. Meanwhile streets south of Expressway and west of Washington remain impassible, along with portions of University Drive, south 12th Street, and other streets in southeastern Bismarck, where streets are still flooded, although the water level has dropped over a foot in the last 24 hours. My sister was one of those evacuated from southwest Bismarck on Wednesday morning. She's staying in a hotel, but three public shelters have been set up in the northeast part of the city on higher ground. The shelters are in three large churches, and are being manned by volunteers along with the Bismarck Red Cross staff.

City engineering and public works personnel were able to get into Fox Island by foot this morning, and have been checking each home for water level, structural integrity, and the safety of electrical and gas lines. They'll be followed by a environmental team who will check those homes that had, or still have, water, and were tagged by the first teams. Residents can begin returning to Fox Island this afternoon, unless their homes are tagged. The streets are still flooded, however, so anyone returning will have to wade to their homes. Southport homes are next on the list to be checked.

Since Tuesday night, over 1.5 million sandbags have been filled by volunteers from the city, including high school and college students, along with National Guard personnel. These sandbags have been provided free of charge to home owners whose property is threatened by rising waters. People who have taken them are asked to keep them, even if the need has passed now, because more snow is on the way and the amounts and effects of that precipitation are still unclear. There is also a large ice jam north of the city, near DoubleDitch, which may break on its own, causing a large amount of water to move quickly into the Bismarck area. The city is keeping over 50,000 sandbags in its shop building, in case they are needed if more storm drains start to back up.

It's possible that ultimately these sandbags will be sent to Fargo or Grand Forks, where the Red River is threatening to crest at a level higher than that of the hundred year flood in 1997. National Guard and FEMA personnel, along with volunteers, including some students from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, have been sandbagging on top of the Fargo dikes. Over 1.3 million sandbags have been placed. In Grand Forks, the river is high enough that only one bridge remains open between Grand Forks, ND, and East Grand Forks in Minnesota. The Red River is expected to crest this weekend in Fargo, although weather could cause a change in the estimated time; Grand Forks residents can expect the Red to crest there sometime next week.

It's not just people who are suffering. In the Linton area, where most of the town has been evacuated, it's calving time on the surrounding ranches. Livestock loss estimates vary, but are probably over 100 cattle, and at least that many calves. Some hope was given to ranchers when the Black Hawks inspecting the ice reported seeing some cattle on ice in the river, but whether or not they can be rescued isn't known.

President Obama has declared North Dakota a disaster area. City and state governments still have no estimate of the cost of the damage caused by snow and flooding so far; their emphasis is on the safety of residents of the state. Governor Hoeven stated in a press conference at 11:00 a.m. this morning that it could be weeks before the full extent of the damage, and its cost, is known, but he believes it is enough that the federal relief package will include help for individuals who have lost their homes or suffered severe damage and financial loss.

North Dakotans are expressing gratitude for all the help from the National Guard, many of whom spent a 24-hour stretch filling sandbags, often with bare hands; the Corps of Engineers ice experts, explosive experts, and the men who dared to walk on the ice in the dark; the personnel from the Minot Air Base who came down to do "something they've never done before" together with the Corps; the 25 person team from FEMA, and most of all for our neighbors, because everyone is to be pitching in to help in whatever way they can.

(Sources: , , 3/26/09 press conference with Bismarck & Mandan mayors, Congressman Earl Pomeroy, National Guard General Spryncznatyk, and City Commissioner Connie Spryncznatyk I attended at 11:00 a.m. today)…


Family / Posts

What Car Should I Buy: A Beginner Guide!

What car should I buy for a beginner?

There are several cars you can start with, starting with an economical small car towing a light trailer behind a truck.

It is best to find at least two cars that are affordable and will get you on the road.

Once you know how safe a car is to drive, you can work your way up to a more powerful sports car.

The type of car you should buy depends on your style of driving, safety concerns, your wallet, and your needs as a driver.

When you consider what cars to buy for a beginner, the first thing you need to consider is the safety rating of the vehicle.

Is it worth buying or should you stay away?

How safe is it?

This question is most important when it comes to four-door sedans.

If the car has a low rating, it may not be worth buying, especially if the car will be used for transporting children.

A safe driver can get good grades in school, but that doesn’t mean you can take your car out on the highway without knowing how to drive it.

In fact, some people who are involved in an accident don’t even know how to fix their cars.

That is why it is so important to purchase a safe car.

There are so many different makes and models available on the market today that finding one that has been well maintained can help you avoid any costly repairs in the future.

Before you even begin thinking about what car to buy for a beginner, you want to think about what level of driving you plan to do.

Are you just learning to drive for pleasure or do you have a goal of becoming a safe, dependable driver?

Even if you want to become a safe driver, you can start by selecting a safe car from the beginning.

This is a great way to begin learning how to drive because you won’t have to worry about losing money if you get into an accident or have an accident that costs you lots of money.

The first and best thing you need to do is find out how safe the car you want to purchase is before you even begin looking.

You should first try to find out how much damage each vehicle has been through.

In most cases, vehicles that are sold for cheap are known to be unsafe because they have been abused.

Ask friends or family members if they can recommend any reliable dealers who sell cars for cheap.

If you don’t have anyone who can give you advice [click here] you can always check online to see what other people have said about various dealers.

Another way to find out about the safety of a particular car is to ask around your community.

People living around you will be able to tell you if a car is safe to drive or not.

Of course, you have to take their word for it, but it’s a good idea to ask around.

What car should I buy for a beginner to help them become a safe driver?

It would also be a great idea to find out from your local police force if they know of any reliable dealers in your area.

Ask them for advice.

What car should I buy for a beginner to help them become a safe driver?

If you are new to driving, you should get a vehicle that has a high safety ranking.

High-ranking cars are known to have a reduced chance of having accidents, which means that they are less likely to cost you a lot of money in repairs.

Now that you have found out what car should I buy for a beginner, you should make sure that you are ready to go out and drive it.

You never know when you might have an accident, and it would be horrible if you had an accident while on your first trip with your new car.

You never know when something may happen that could have unforeseen consequences.

That is why it is important to make sure that you are insured because if you get into an accident without insurance, you could owe a lot of money and be unable to get any money to fix the car.…



Zipper Fashion Rosettes

Metal zipper
Fabric scrap
Hot glue
White glue

You might have been saving zippers to sew into other garments, if those zippers go bad, but sewing zippers into clothing isn’t the only way to reuse them. Cut zippers up and use them in an unusual way to make embellishments for fashions and home decorating projects, rosettes for crafting, and other fanciful items. If you already have zippers, you won’t pay a penny for the rosettes, which can be used in many different ways.

Unzip a zipper and cut it, straight across, to remove the zipper pull, and to separate the two sides of the zipper. Since each piece has fabric stitched to it, it’s necessary to remove the cloth. Cut the stitches to remove the biggest part of it; use a lighter to burn off the rest. Remember to hold the zipper with a potholder because the zipper will get hot as you burn the fabric off.

When all of the cloth is off of the zipper it’s the easiest thing to turn it into a rosette. Simply lay it flat on a table and begin winding it around itself. Hold one end down, and wrap the other end around and around the stationary end. You’ll make a flat circle of zipper teeth, which is metallic and lovely. If you want the rosette to be larger than it is when you finish wrapping, use a dot of hot glue to hold the end in place, and start wrapping another zipper-half around it.

The rosette you make is a flat one but you can give it dimension by making another one on top of it. The top rosette should be a bit smaller than the bottom one. Add another rosette, and another, to create the depth that you want; make each rosette smaller than the previous one.

The zipper rosette will be easiest to attach if you glue a piece of cloth or felt to the bottom of it. Glue the finished flower to a purse, a garment, a lampshade, a mirror or picture frame corner, or even a hat. Attach it to a piece of fabric to make a curtain tie-back, or make a large zipper rosette, and turn it into a coaster.

Don’t like the metallic color of the rosette? Paint it! You can easily spray paint the zipper before you start, or paint the rosette when you’re finished. That gives you many options for coordinating colors on your fashions, or for your home decorating.


Internet / Posts

How to Build an Instagram Following From Scratch

With close to 500 million users, and counting, Instagram is slowly becoming a leading social media site, and we will try to help you get your first followers.

Simplicity is a major part of success when it comes to Instagram, and as we live in the society where information overload is a normal thing scrolling through the pictures with short captions seems like a perfect combination.

Both major and minor brands are trying to capitalize on this fast rise, so you should consider start to buy followers for instagram and avoid missing out on this opportunity.

In the next few paragraphs, we will lay down a roadmap and try to explain how to get free instagram likes daily, whether you manage your personal or professional Instagram profile.

1. Figure out your strategy

Before going any further, you should answer these few questions.

What is your end goal on Instagram?

Creating a community of regular paying customers on you web page from followers while providing good service. This is a top priority!

How will your Instagram page affect your business?


Your best bet is to have few established Instagram users in your niche promoting your product in exchange for money or free stuff. This way, you can bring traffic to you web page fast and have a better conversion.

What are you going to offer to your followers?

Ask questions, research, ask your peers what kind of content would they like to see from you. Check what hashtags are your followers using and use them in your posts only if they are relevant, you don’t want to annoy them.

After you got this down, you are ready to move on.

2. Setting up your Instagram profile.

This one is pretty straight forward. You just need to fill some basic info and add your profile picture.

Profile image

You should consider an image that is representing your product or your brand. Logo of your company is always a good solution.

Your bio

If you are not an established brand already, then you need to utilize this feature as much as possible. Make it sound natural and positive; you can also use symbols.

Link to your web page.

If you use Instagram for business, then this one is really important. Add your web page address at the end of your bio. This will give your followers a chance to buy your product and turn them into your customers. Make sure that your web page is mobile friendly; most of the Instagram users are on their mobile phones.

3. Setting up your content plan.

Goals and KPIs (key performance indicators like shares, comments, likes) are essential. Set them and use them to track your progress.
Your next step should be schedule for content uploading. There are various apps that can help you with this like ScheduGram or Simply Measured.


Choose pictures that you are about to post very carefully. Use only pictures that are related to your brand and your brand’s story. Make sure that quality of a picture, description and hashtags are all on point.
When it comes to effectiveness, you should consider this:

Brand-inspired images

Posting beautiful images with a powerful message can bring you a lot of exposure as people tend to react to the images that trigger emotions.
Some of the biggest brands in the world are using this technique and investing money in the production of their photos so they can use the power of visual storytelling to their advantage.

Reactive storytelling

Reactive storytelling is a great way of sparking conversation because when businesses use this technique, they can leverage a human truth or insight to generate instant feedback. This includes a cultural action, a brand relevant action or a niche action.

Inspirational quotes

One of the best ways to create a viral buzz is to trigger a strong emotional response. If you can achieve this, there is a big chance that you are going to see more shares, likes, and comments on your posts.
You should start by preparing ten images; this will be enough for the next three to four days, depends on how you spread them.

A Track Maven released a report suggesting that major brands are getting thirty-seven likes and comments per thousand followers. That’s 3.7 reactions for every hundred followers you make.

4. Build relationships with influencing people

There are places where you can get exposure and more followers like, but there are people that have a big influence, and they are available only through direct contact. You can offer them free promotional stuff for shares, or pay them for the shoutout.


Instagram Direct is probably the best way for you to get in touch with the person who can help you promoting your product. It is private so you can send your offer that only influencer and you can see.

5. Manage your profile

With you profile, your connections and followers in place, it is time to manage your account. You can find a lot of very useful applications that can give you a better overview of your activities and activities on your account and also give you statistic and charts. Always have content ready for deployment and use the schedule as much as possible, it will make your life a lot easier.

How to grow an Instagram account from SCRATCH (With ZERO Followers!) - YouTube

Final thoughts

By now we hope that you realize how easy it is to have a successful Instagram page. Visual content is in high demand, and millions of users are already making a good use of it. Just remember to be clear with your ideas and always be in contact with your followers and respect them so you can see your brand grow and flourish.

Make sure to connect your Instagram page to your other social media accounts. This way you will be able to spread your brand and reach more people.
Leave your comments below and let us know if you had any success with the roadmap that we laid out for you, and how you managed to push your Instagram campaign to the next level.…



Having and Planning Family Night

Family night is growing more popular as children are finding more things outside of the home to do. Here are some tips and ideas to help you plan and have a wonderful family night.

Set a night of the week that everyone will be home and available. Plan your family night for this night.

Tell each family member and post it on the refrigerator, calendar and anywhere else that you can think of that will help remind everyone.

Decide your plans for family night. Do you want to play games, go somewhere else, see a movie or something else creative. There are some tips and ideas at the end of this article.

Do any shopping that is needed for that night prior to the scheduled night. This will reduce the stress on you.

On the planned day be sure to remind everyone that that night is family night and what time it is planned for.

Enjoy the night with your family and have lots of fun.


For each family night, choose a different family member and make on of their favorite meals.

Choose games that everyone enjoys. Some popular games are Monopoly, Uno, Yahtzee, Scrabble, Cranium and Trivial Pursuit. If you don’t have any games you can do several things to get some. Go to and sign up. Once signed up post a wanted ad for games and activities. Search at garage sales and thrift stores. You would be surprised what you can find in these places. If all else fails, and you can afford it, go to the store and purchase new ones.

Family night doesn’t have to be indoors or about games. You can take it outside or anywhere. Go to the park, play volleyball, go swimming, go to a museum, go to a movie, etc.

Make sure that everyone feels included. This will make family night much easier on you and more exciting for everyone else.

Try to do something different each night. Don’t tell everyone what activities you have planned. This will heighten the enjoyment and anticipation. Repeating the same activity will bore them and discourage everyone from wanting to do it again.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to plan the perfect night. This will discourage you from wanting to plan and do this again. Remember this is supposed to be fun. Things happen and it is OK. Just pick it up and try again.

If you have little children, plan many different things. Remember that young children have a smaller attention span and will lose interest quickly.

Ideas for young children could be anything such as reading books, playing with blocks or legos, coloring, doing crafts (also good for older children as well), watching a movie, playing outside, going to the park, etc.

Remember that family night is not about what you do. It is about being together as a family and enjoying each others company and time.

If it doesn’t go great the first time, don’t give up. Use this time as an example and change the way you do things and what you plan for the next time.

Once you start having weekly family nights, sit down at the end of each one and ask for suggestions for other family nights. This helps everyone feel involved and helps you come up with new ideas.

Try having a themed night. This could include Hawaiian night, pajama party, camping or whatever else you can think of. This makes things fun and exciting and you can come up with some pretty creative stuff to do.

Have a night where you all make the meal together or instead of making a meal, everyone makes their favorite snack. (It’s OK to do this every once in a while.)

I hope these ideas have helped you come up with some activities and a great way to plan your family night. Enjoy your family and the time you have together.…