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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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March 10, 2011

The Mighty Ohio is Making News Again!!

I walked down to the river yesterday after a neighbor told me she had heard on the news that the river is supposed to crest sometime Sunday and they might be closing the flood wall.  When I got there, the water was higher than this picture I took last winter - you could just see the top of this wall under the surface:

And, of course, I had just taken off for the river as soon as she told me and I didn't have my phone or my camera so couldn't take any pictures.  But since it's been raining pretty much forever, I figured I could still get some pictures today (Thursday).  So late this afternoon I armed myself with my camera, a raincoat with a hood and went to see what was happening.  And this is the first thing I saw:

I couldn't get in through my normal point of entry because they are, indeed, closing the flood wall.  I kind of doubt (although what do I know?) that it will end up being needed, but better safe than sorry.  As you can see from the next picture, they closed it, so far, to the 63 foot point and last I heard it was expected to crest somewhere in the high 50's.  But, WOW!!!  I've lived here 33 years and the flood wall has never been closed in that time that I know of.

And I always wondered how it all worked so the next picture gives a general idea of that.  The horizontal pieces come up from the street, I think.  I seem to remember an opening that goes across.  And then those support beams also come up from these normally covered openings in the pavement:

So it's quite a system.  Designed and installed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers...

And some pictures of the current state of the river:

This is a shot pointing the same way as the one at the beginning of this post from last winter.  You can see that the wall which was partially submerged last year is totally covered now and the water has started up the steps to the entrance circle.

And this is the entrance circle and road with the partially closed flood wall in the back.  I find it all very impressive and exciting.  And exciting is probably not a good thing to admit to since I'm sure that lots of streams and small rivers are flooding all over the area, but the power of this river and the mechanics of protecting a city from its potential devastation is exciting.

This picture is looking towards the lower parking level where the boat ramp is located.  It extends from what's left of the bank on the right side to beyond that mostly submerged tree so I thought that might provide some idea of how high the river is.

And that's all the pictures for today.  There are great black clouds in the sky  although right now, looking out the windows, it doesn't appear to be raining.  Tomorrow's going to be a busier day than normal for me, but I will certainly try to get to the river and if the second opening in the flood wall is still open, see how things are developing.


Christopher said...

Wow, I agree... it is pretty exciting to see the flood wall barriers go up; they've always intrigued me. And seeing that the famous floods of the past have brought water literally up to your building's front door and beyond apparently, it is a good thing you've got those walls! Is there anywhere you can get "up higher" and take a shot, if the water actually makes it up to touch the flood walls on the inside?

January said...

Woah! The mighty Ohio is mighty indeed! I've always wondered what the flood walls would look like...when I was little I thought they somehow slid back into each side of the opening. This makes more sense :)
Don't go swimming!

vrmichie said...

Wowser!! That's some mighty river and the way it's raining here right now makes me wonder and worry for our rivers, streams, etc. It's fascinating to see how the walls work and I wonder if they test them every year -- I never would have guessed that the stuff rises up out of the ground. Exciting to see them go up; pretty scary to contemplate a failure. And your pictures of Savannah are lovely. Have always had a yen to visit there so perhaps when you get an apartment :), I can come visit. Is their river one that floods regularly? xoxo

Mary Lynne said...

I should have thought to go find photos of the 1937 flood (the biggest flood in recorded history for the Ohio in this region). Here's a link to what I found today with a lot of photos showing the downtown areas. Just to give you an idea of distances the water traveled - there's the river, then about a block and a half away is Third Ave., then Fourth Ave. (my building faces on Fourth Ave.), then Fifth Ave., etc. I saw a couple of photos showing Fifth Ave. with very high water and there was one I came across that showed water clear out to I think either 11th or 12th Avenue!

Another protection in addition to the flood walls is that the river is pretty well kept in check by various dams and such along its length. And thank heavens for that!

Mary Lynne said...

And, of course, I forgot to include the link to the photos! Here it is:


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