Saturday, October 2, 2010

Drought, Interrupted

Floodwaters surging under a bridge built in 1817, the second oldest bridge in the county
View downstream from the bridge
The remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole surged up the East Coast lat week and brought a deluge to the Mid-Atlantic Thursday evening into very early Friday morning.  As I lay awake in the early morning hours of Friday, listening to the rain pounding ceaselessly on the roof, I imagined the trees, shrubs, and animals along the creek washing away into the Delaware River.

By dawn, the rain had all but stopped, but the water continued to rise until about noon, fed  from sources upstream.  Remarkably, while the creek rose well out of its banks and many of the roads crossing it on low bridges were impassible, there was very little apparent damage in the natural area.

The images I've included with this post are from the previous big storm along the creek last winter.  I didn't have my camera with me when I went to inspect the damage from this storm but, except for the fact that the trees in these images don't have any leaves, the scene was the same.

The news media indicated that the damage and flooding would have been a lot worse if we weren't in the midst of an officially-declared drought.  The creek was extremely low before the storm and the soil was extremely dry, both of which helped to minimize the damage. 
Flooded riparian forest


Ray's Cowboy said...

Without sounding tacky. Please send ti to Texas..we need it.
Hopefully that bridge mad eit through. I love stuff like that. Hope all is well with you.

Scott said...

Yes, Ray, the bridge made it through, just like it made it through the other dozens of similar storms it has experienced in its 193 years of existence. I was speaking to a colleague this morning who told me about a similar bridge under repair along another stream. There, workmen failed to remove the wooden scaffolding under the bridge they were using to gain access to the underside of the stone arch, the scaffolding got washed away, caused a dam in the stream, and backed-up water over the bridge. Yikes! Our storm amounted to about 5 inches of rain in 24 hours--a lot, but not enough to alleviate the drought. However, it's raining her again today and is supposed to rain until Wednesday. September and October typically are our driest months here, but not this year! Wish I could send some your way.

Luuuuuua said...

f interesant blog,bravo

Scott said...

Welcome, Luuuuuua! Thanks for visiting. You've got some beautiful images on your blog!

Jain said...

It's oddly refreshing to see floodwater after months with nary a drop of rain.
Radar shows a storm approaching my county, then nothing for 10 days. I hope we get enough to wet the ground.