Where Eaglets Sleep: 2007 Floods of Winona County | Lisa Loucks-Christenson Documentary
Where Eaglets Sleep: 2007 Floods of Winona County
A Lisa Loucks-Christenson Documentary
Lisa Loucks-Christenson's coverage of the 2007 floods in Winona County, Minnesota.
This documentary covers the scenes and stories Lisa recorded in 2007, during the third year on her, Lisa's Bald Eagle Documentary™.
Lisa and two men had been hiking in the back area of Beaver Creek Valley since sunrise when the spring flood hit that afternoon. With no cell coverage, and no time to escape, they made the decision to wade through the flood waters and try to get to safety. They had to climb back up one bluff and cross a flooded ravine, balancing on a small log, just to get out, not even sure the truck would be there when they came down. There was no where to exit, the water poured like a waterfalls down the bluffs, and the ground was covered in 29 inches of melting snow pooling into the valley floor where a meandering creek had swelled into at least a half mile wide rushing river, swallowing everything in its path.
They hiked down and found the truck, but their drive out didn't happen without angels' help. The swollen river, spilled onto the ice covered minimum maintenance road, one that covered in several inches of slush. Every second mattered. Driving skills were challenged, for over correction on a curve or dip in the road would have slid them right into the river and without any escape. The water would have submerged the truck in seconds if it didn't slam it into the bridge first.
An hour later, Lisa would, again, find herself surrounded by the flood waters as she checked her main eagle nest, this time alone. The eagles' nest was already submerged at the base of the tree and the floodwaters were heading her way on three sides as she hiked out.
Deep inside the historic importance of this documentary, in the finest details of Lisa's photos of the flash floods; there stirs a message of faith, hope, love, resilience, but also the faces of survival and of trust as a community works together––stronger for the storms that hit both that spring and summer, the floods of 2007.
Winona County: This is your record and story recorded for you to remember, not the storm, not the floods only but how it changed your world, like it did mine. These are the stories I witnessed. Your "Town Joke".
This is also the journey of the eaglets that matured into eagles and rose above it all.
WHERE EAGLETS SLEEP includes Lisa's interviews, scenes she captured through the March 2007 and the August 2007 floods, and Lisa's coverage in: Altura, Beaver, Beaver Creek Valley, Elba, the Whitewater Management Area (WMA), and beyond.
Lisa's photos and digital film coverage aired on Lisa's radio show website, Plainview News, KTTC television news. Lisa's never before seen images are included in her forthcoming books: 2007, YEAR THREE DANCER & DAEDEE: CALLING ALL SCRIBES and STRUGGLING FOR EXISTENCE: 15 Years in the Whitewater Valley and Beyond.
Thank you to the National Guard, I'm grateful to your soldier that allowed me through. He was stopping all incoming traffic and that included every form of press, every news station. No one was allowed in.
The soldier checked my press credentials looked at me with a dead stare. He couldn't deny my media credentials were solid. I felt that maybe he knew I could make one call and go anywhere I wanted. He said, "If you run into trouble out there, we're not coming in for you."
I'm press. I go where I need to to get my stories, I walk it, photograph it, write it. It's my tag line, "Stories picturing Daily Life.™"
I agreed and accepted that. He didn't know I'd faced cougar and bear alone too. He didn't know that just a few months prior I was trapped in the back valley, and waded through ice-cold floodwaters pulling me down--but we got out. Our driver had my trust. God had our backs.
I had a documentary to finish. I don't quit my work, no matter the trouble. No matter the season. I was the only person that could not only recognize the eagles, but also I was the only person that knew their habits, if they had even survived. If anything was still there: because drivable roads weren't.
He made note of my plate and then let me through. I knew then, he didn't have to. I like to believe those are the things God handles as my #1 replacement to my former Literary and Press Agent. Only He knows the plans and paths marked for me.
My footage ran on the evening and morning KTTC News. My photos were published in the area newspaper that next week. The photos and story published on my station, and affiliates and I paid a good price for extra coverage on a press release with their town photos so they'd get help from unexpected sources. I hope they did.
Because of you sir, the unidentified Soldier, (but I remember your face), I could shoot the Blackhawk helicopter flying over, the horrific flood scenes, gather interviews, and give the residents of Elba, Minnesota some exposure so other people knew they needed help.
This story and the eaglets pictured on this cover of the book had a message, one that only I could share for them. Because I was there, I was the only one that could give Elba residents this story as a keepsake to where our paths passed but for a brief time in this lifetime.
The reason I waited so many years to publish this is that it's a timeless story, but also, I had to wait until the eagles lived out their lives before I published any of the books featuring their nesting areas.
I made the eagles a promise and I kept it. When I get to heaven, the first face I want to see is the mother eagle that taught me so much about wildlife and the interconnected relationship. The stories about man and his ways are included in this. The mother eagle taught me that God is in the smallest triumphs, in the overlooked miracles, in the every start and end of a day, through the nights He is everywhere preparing new beautiful surprises to all who search for them in the Whitewater Valley. A place like no other, home to where eagles fly freely without credentials, without pause--unless they want to sit in the storm, alone.
Store copy information is available, but not for sale. Loose art, art cards, photos of Lisa's Bald Eagle Documentary are in the homes of celebrities, entertainers, and the widow's home who had no way to buy one. Take care of each other, give everything you can away and change lives.
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