Monday, September 26, 2016

Too Much

The 6th Street railroad bridge getting lapped by the Cedar River's flood waters- Image pilfered from Facebook
It's been tough to think about anything here lately than water. Water that we don't need and that has fallen from the sky, swelling our local rivers and creeks to overflow. And not by just a little bit either.

The Summer of 2008 was a disastrous Summer from the standpoint of severe weather and flooding. We will never forget the Parkersburg F-5 tornado that claimed lives and changed that town forever, along with the community of New Hartford. The other thing that was devastating that year was water in the form of record level flooding of many of our rivers in Iowa. They said back then that the Flood of 2008 was a "500 Year Flood" event, meaning that the event was a once in every 500 year event. Well, so much for that......

My son and I checked out the river Friday afternoon. Note the railing down below him and the bridge in the background. 
On Saturday, at approximately the crest time, you can no longer see that railing and the bridge has a lot less light under it!
The crest of the Cedar River was on Saturday in the afternoon, and while it was not a record, it came in second highest ever recorded, only eight years after a "500 Year Flood" event. Yeah........ I guess we don't know as much as we think we know.

Anyway, the point is that even though we've made improvements with regard to flood protection in eight years, this is still a devastating situation. I'll keep it focused on bicycles here. There are a lot of bike paths, and arguably the most popular ones in the region, that are under water now. There are a lot of soft trails- single track and double track- that are all under water now, and will be for about two more weeks, in many cases. Drying in this season of the year takes more time- less hours of Sunlight, lower angle of the Sun, and cooler Fall temperatures play into that.

The awesome power of rushing water is frightening to behold up this close. That's a dam under there in the background.
Not only that, but many gravel routes are cut off now North, Northeast, and West of town due to flooded gravel roads which are closed. Case in point, the Geezer Ride route, which we rode only a week ago, is cut off in at least three places. It would have been impossible to ride this weekend.

Of course, there are a lot more effects from the flooding which are far more serious, and that is why it is hard to think of riding when so many are helpless in the face of this natural disaster. All you can do is watch it and hope for the best. The National Weather Service says that the Cedar won't go back in its banks until well into next weekend. You'll all have moved on by then, but the Cedar Valley will be dealing with this for weeks and months to come.

Let's hope that this was really a "500 Year Event"! We don't need this every eight years.


Ari said...

When did you get all that rain? In Chicago it has barely rained for all of September. Those waters look very dangerous. I hope everyone is safe.

Guitar Ted said...

Ari- It has been a situation which has snowballed over the past two weeks. Northern Iowa has been hammered with 3"-8" at a time rainfalls over this time period and last Thursday's event pushed the rivers over the top, particularly the Cedar River Valley. This includes several feeder rivers like the Shell Rock, Little Cedar, and others which were in the area that received the most rain fall. So, we got this flooding.

here we are safe. I haven't heard of any loss of life or injuries pertaining to the flooding here, however, I may have missed that info.

Loss of property, damages, and the lingering effects of this flood will likely cost millions of dollars to repair/recover from.