Thursday, May 26, 2011

Water, Water Everywhere

"Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink."
-- Rime of the Ancient Mariner- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The boards are somewhat shrinking , but there is such a thing as water rot, where the boards become useless because of continual soaking water usually followed by termites.

As far as drinking water, all nature should be water-logged. Drinking water however is a premium when entire communities are devastated by nature. 

However, on a more serious note, the unusually severe Spring, allegedly caused by La Nina, a warming of the south Pacific Ocean, has imposed misery, heartache, devastation and death on 100s, in statistics not seen since 1974 according some weather experts.

Despite the dire forecasts, the tornado activity in my neck of the woods has been nothing compared to Joplin MO, or Birmingham AL. Franklin County and a small city of Denning, near Little Rock weres supposedly wiped off the map last night, but compared to the larger disasters, like Birmingham and Joplin, it has received little publicity. Yet that small city of approximately 200 have the same level of individual misery, devastation and heartache as the big cities.

I was in Little Rock about three weeks ago. Conway, about 40 miles east of LR had a tornado passed near its city limits, hopped over I-40 and landed near Vilonia, another small AR city, causing death and destruction. I wrote of the LR being under a warning for a few hours; a tornado did damage around the airport.

Now this was three weeks ago. Every creek, stream, river and lake was overflowing. The rice fields near Conway are lakes. The crop is gone. Did you know that Arkansas provides nearlyrd 50% of all the rice sold in the USA? Not this year. And I heard the cotton crop is down the Mississippi River, too.

I say this to warn those bloggers who live downstream from any tributary that may drain into the White River as it winds from Bull Shoals Dam (BSD) to the Mississippi River, MORE WATER IS HEADED your way. All 17 gates of BSD have been opened for the 3 or 4th time in my 31 years living in the City of Bull Shoals.

Bull Shoals Dam with
17 spillway gates open
Straight Out of the Camera
by NitWit1
(Normally I would crop
left side a tad.)
These gates are opened at, or exceeding 1.5', a record opening. And that is not nearly WIDE open! Listen to the ROAR of this much water in  the video below. Persons living below the dam hear it day and night.

Lake Sequoyah Dam (AR) is the first of several dams that empty into a chain of lakes, which release water in succession to Bull Shoals Lake, the largest lake with capacity to handle cumulative releases. The other lakes are Beaver Lake (AR), Table Rock Lake (MO), Lake Taneycomo (MO).

This week Beaver and Table Rock and Taneycomo Lakes had all their gates open, the water of which ultimately ending in Bull Shoals Lake reservoir. Flood pool was nearing quickly and more rain expected. The US Army Corp of Engineers, knowing the flooding downstream, held off as long as possible. At first, only 5 gates were opened, but the water kept rising....and rising.

Of course this water ultimately creates misery not only all the way to the Mississippi River, but then to the Gulf Coast where Louisiana and Alabama have had more than their share of weather-related misery for several years.

Before you think areas around these lakes are safe from their own misery...think again. There are recreational and service industries built around these lakes. High water has decimated this industry for two of the last three years. Many have been on the verge of bankruptcy. Almost all are for sale, even if a sign is not on the property. The smaller communities built around these lakes have lost businesses related to tourism and retirement. Bull Shoals looks somewhat like a ghost town and we are not the worst. High water is dangerous to tourists who do not know the navigation hazards.

One area I visited today has a whole recreation area under water like canopy concrete picnic tables. A week ago the top of the canopies were still out of the water---not today. Image a bass boat at any speed, running over these canopies and tables! Goodbye lower unit of expensive motor, but more disastrous, a capsized bass boat!

This is just a small area in a small state. Consider and multiply the economic losses in Oklahoma, Texas (which also has a drought with wildfire, too), Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, North Carolina, just to name a few.

Talk about a double dip depression! And you can't blame Mother Nature's capriciousness on any President, neither Obama nor Bush. We somehow must regain our national pride of helping and empathizing with each other like I remember my parents and many, many others had in the WWII years.

I never heard them gripe about rationing and what they did not have: instead they bought war bonds which was no more than loaning money to the government to pay for a war. And the government paid them back every penny. I can only imagine the ruckus that would arise today, if we were asked to buy war bonds, economic bonds, national debt bonds, or our major food products were rationed. From the number on the scales, I should have sugar, one of the WWII commodities, rationed  permanently, like one cup per year!

Remember victory gardens and sharing produce?

We must care for and love one another; and a few prayers won't hurt, either!

Which brings this epic monologue nearly to conclusion. Here is another of my favorite verses from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

"He who loveth best, prayeth best; 
All things great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us;
He made and loveth all."
--Rime of the Ancient Mariner -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

[PHOTOS/VIDEOS by myself-first video attempt with CanonAS1000IS -may not play-it is supposedly with the sound of the roaring water out of  17 gates]

[May 31 and June14 I will be having cataract surgery. Last week and this week have been engaged in checking drug interactions, etc. When you are elderly and have multiple ailments with multiple medications, nothing is simple. But I have been cleared to do what is needed to be done. Now, IF I can just get the 5 different eye drops in as prescribed, it will be a small miracle; two are for glaucoma, 3 for the surgery.]


Lisa said...

Your so right! We must remember our history. It is a great one!

Oh! I hope things settle down in your neck of the woods.

I will also be praying your surgery goes well.


Arkansas Patti said...

The water coming thru those gates is awesome. It has to go somewhere so the trickle down theory is in over drive.
Glad you have been damage spared. We have dodged the big bullets also but my heart aches for those who lost big time.
Lets pray all catch a break for now.

Pat - Arkansas said...

A good post, Carol. We certainly do need to remember ALL those folks affected by the tornados, not just the ones in bigger towns. One of our church members lost his home in the Vilonia tornado last month. He and his family escaped injury thanks to a 'safe room' in their house, but they are all tramautized by the loss of their home.

Your video of the flood gates worked very well. The roar is tremendous, even at a distance.

I wish you well on your cataract surgery. Friends who have undergone that procedure report a remarkable improvement in their sight. I have 'little' cataracts, and am still a few years out from needing surgery. I think it's marvelous that the surgery can be performed so successfully.