A Day in the Life

Thursday, May 12, 2011 8 Comments A+ a-

Jon is stressed.  Super stressed.  Stressed in a way that is usually reserved only for winter and snow storms. 

river2He works for our state’s department of transportation, he’s the shop foreman for his section of highways.  Yep, that’s highways, plural.  He supervises three other guys and together they keep the highways open, travelable, etc.  The above picture is from one of his highways, jokingly referred to as “his office”.  Nice view, Babe!

During the winter, snow storms require 12-hour shifts, 24 hour coverage.  The guys are stressed out, navigating curving mountain roads with zero visibility.  I prefer not to think about it.  But if winter = stress, then summer usually equals a break from the stress.

But not this summer.

We didn’t see much snow down here on the front range.  The same cannot be said of the mountains and passes.  They received record amounts of snow up there.  The snow pack is the highest its ever been in the 30 years since they started measuring it.  What this means is now that the weather is getting warmer and the snow is starting to melt, the spring runoff into the river (see above) is starting.  And there are some major, valid concerns for flooding. 

Let me see if I can explain it in layman’s terms, in a way even I can understand.  Lets talk numbers…  The river usually runs at 3600. (Whether that’s cubic feet per square inch, or water flow, or what not, I don’t know.  Jon, or any other engineer, feel free to clarify in the comments.)  The highest the river has run is 4800.  Predictions are saying the river is going to run at 6200 this year. 

Now you can understand his stress a little.  He’s been ordered to equip his truck with almost $1200 worth of rescue equipment in preparation.  In preparation of what, I don’t want to know.  I really don’t want to think about the implications of this or what it means for my husband.  Winters are bad enough around here, now I get to worry this summer too.

Yesterday the pass received another 15 inches of snow, and its been raining for 2 days straight.  The river has already risen a foot in 24 hours.  Good times…  Prayers for Jon, his crew, and their safety would be greatly appreciated!

And I’d like to suggest that perhaps tubing down the river before the end of July might be a bad idea.  Just a thought.

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

8 comments

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Becky
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9:28 AM delete

I knew the river was going to be WAY up this year from all the snow, but I totally didn't think about how this would impact Jon! I hope that he doesn't have to use any of that rescue equipment...hopefully the river behaves itself in the next few weeks! We'll be praying for Jon!

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9:49 AM delete

cfs (cubic feet/second) ;) Yeah, some of the bridges are going to be scary to drive over! Much of John's job involves hydrology and scour studies on bridges. A lot of the bridges here are already not in the best shape...

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10:04 AM delete

Dave suggested that he and I take a picnic trip up there in mid-June, just to see how high and fast the water is. I'm sure he suggested it for purely scientific reasons...

We'll be praying!

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Jillian
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10:15 AM delete

Praying!!!

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Mindy
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10:51 AM delete

Praying as well

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Dana
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1:31 PM delete

the last line of your post made me laugh because in the midst of the scary (and not to negate it - it's for sure scary!) but I was also thinking... you can get some good rafting in when the snow's done melting. haha :)

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9:54 AM delete

Hopefully things will turn out better than expected!

Sorry you have to worry about your husband's job on top of having the 4 Littles!

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Christine
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8:59 PM delete

Thanks for sharing. It was fun to have a "sneak peak" into Jon's day to day life. I didn't know this was such a huge issue this summer. We'll be praying for sure.

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