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View Full Version : When the levee breaks....



Fitz
03-29-2010, 06:39 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbrjRKB586s

Eastern Massachusetts is expecting 4 to 6 inches of New water on top of the Old water.

Yikes.:eek:

I live in a 300 year old house. The old timers knew what they were doing. It is about 2 ft higher than most of the rest of the town. So far, we have a dry basement, unlike most of the rest of the town.

:cool:

Canoez
03-29-2010, 07:24 PM
Have you consulted NOAA? (Better yet, Noah. - did you ever wonder if this was a coincidence? :p)

http://coad.net/blog/images/Noah_27s_20Ark_20Cartoon.jpg

Only one problem with a wooden boat...

Rich Jones
03-29-2010, 07:37 PM
Yeah, supposed to get 5" here on Long Island. Went out in the rain this morning to unclog the gutters. Dry basement so far. At least it's not snow.

Ian McColgin
03-29-2010, 07:58 PM
When I was with the DPU I was working with a fellow who wanted to rehab a dam and become a co-gen for the neighboring factory. Co-gen rules are a very favorable way to sell electric, beating bidding on the grid by a country mile. Anyway, among the problems turned out to be huge issues about the condition of the dam itself. Which led me to start asking the boys at MEMA the next storm I was stuck in the bunker with those bad boys what they knew about dams. Turned out it was a whole lot more than what the official dam inspectors knew and it was all bad. This was over fifteen years ago. If you live downstream of a New England dam, I'll pray for you.

Bruce Hooke
03-29-2010, 09:14 PM
I was just down to look at my local river at the spot where flooding usually starts and it has indeed started. Water on the streets and starting to come up against a business that, in expectation of high water, has already sandbagged the building. If we get the expected additional 3 inches of rain things could get ugly.

oznabrag
03-29-2010, 09:16 PM
Here's hopin' y'all come through OK!

Bruce Hooke
03-29-2010, 09:17 PM
If you live downstream of a New England dam, I'll pray for you.

And I'll join in...even to someone like me who does not know a lot about dams, the condition of some dams around here is kind of scary. I know of one dam near me where you can see water coming through the dam...not good!

Ian McColgin
03-29-2010, 09:25 PM
Isn't there an ad where that's fixed with a bit of chewing gum?

oznabrag
03-29-2010, 09:42 PM
And I'll join in...even to someone like me who does not know a lot about dams, the condition of some dams around here is kind of scary. I know of one dam near me where you can see water coming through the dam...not good!

Mansfield Dam (containing Lake Travis, above Austin), was constructed in 1953 (that year from memory) with a 2-lane roadway across the dam. Very few years later, the structure was leaking something fierce, and it was closed to traffic. Since then, a 4-lane bridge has been constructed, and the leaks have stopped, but Dam! :p

I'd hate to be 'home' if that thing gave up! The Tom Miller Dam below it wouldn't have a chance, and Austin, as we know it, would cease to exist...Well, what with the fact that this ol' town is starting to act like L.A., mebbeso thass not such a bad thing, eh? :D

rbgarr
03-29-2010, 10:39 PM
I used to love it when the Concord and Sudbury Rivers flooded.
I was only a kid, but it was fun to paddle a canoe through the same woods and fields where we'd gone snowshoeing in the depths of winter.

elf
03-29-2010, 10:45 PM
Picture on the Globe site today of Spectacle Pond out in Littleton flooded nearly all the way up to the RR tracks. Pretty amazing that they let the power run under those conditions. Looks like part of a transformer is flooded.
http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2010/03/29/kreiter_littletonflood1_met__1269884000_9579.jpg

skuthorp
03-29-2010, 10:53 PM
Seems to be floods all over lately, Aus has had a share recently too, and our biggest river system is regenerating as the water moves slowly south.
http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/815751/severe-weather-causes-floods-and-outages

rbgarr
03-30-2010, 07:30 AM
There was a dam collapse near here a few years ago. Massachusetts dams have their own problems: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/03/28/many_of_states_high_hazard_dams_go_uninspected/

huisjen
03-30-2010, 07:37 AM
Okay, now I'm rockin' out to Zeppelin.

March precip around here is only just above normal, except we've gotten it all in the last week. Forecast for tonight is 1-2" of rain, but I think that's still within the limits of what the drainages can handle without flooding my road.

Dan

Bruce Hooke
03-30-2010, 02:56 PM
I just got back from checking on "my" river and it is unreal out there. Lots of homes and businesses are flooded, the parks all along the river are flooded, some up to 6 feet or so deep, and the rain has not yet stopped. It is good that the parks are there to act as water storage space to keep the river level from going even higher.

At this point I think we are half a foot over the previous all-time record river level.

coelacanth2
03-30-2010, 09:11 PM
It is my understanding that there a lot of older dams in New England that were originally made to power mills that aren't there any more, and nobody wants to touch the dams because ownership of the dam confers ownership of the dam's problems, both structural and liability. As the above Globe article implies, if we just close our eyes, stick our fingers in our ears and say,"lalalalalalalalalalalala" for a long time, all our problems go away...

Bruce Hooke
03-30-2010, 10:35 PM
It is my understanding that there a lot of older dams in New England that were originally made to power mills that aren't there any more, and nobody wants to touch the dams because ownership of the dam confers ownership of the dam's problems, both structural and liability. As the above Globe article implies, if we just close our eyes, stick our fingers in our ears and say,"lalalalalalalalalalalala" for a long time, all our problems go away...

That is certainly the case in some places. What can make it especially complex is that in some cases, when buildings and land beside the river were sold (100 years ago) the dam was not sold because it was valuable and producing revenue. Now, 100 years later, the successor owner of that dam is likely not to even realize they own it...if there is a successor owner since the original owner may well have gone out of business and ceased to exist as a legal entity. So, ownership in theory probably reverts to the town, which does not want to have that budget buster in their lap either.

In other cases the dam is owned by a lake association so you have a situation where, say, 20 home-owners are told they need to raise half a million dollars to repair the dam for their lake. Of course many of the home owners simply don't have that sort of money lying around.

elf
03-30-2010, 10:51 PM
It was so dark in Marion on the bridge over the Sippican River today that I gave up trying to get a shot of it. The water was rushing and very deep and lawns upstream were under water, as were parts of Point Road South of Route 6.

Maybe tomorrow.

StevenBauer
03-30-2010, 11:03 PM
March precip around here is only just above normal, except we've gotten it all in the last week.

I don't know what it's like up in Brooksville but here in Portland we just passed the all time record for rain in the month of March. :eek:

The sump pump is running full time in the shop right now. Hasn't shut off in hours. I'm not sure it can keep up if the rain doesn't let up soon. :(Gusts to around 30, too.

But the forecast for the weekend looks nice, highs in the 70s.

Steven

WX
03-30-2010, 11:26 PM
Hope you've all got good wellies.

huisjen
03-31-2010, 09:09 AM
Okay, now I'm rockin' out to Zeppelin.

March precip around here is only just above normal, except we've gotten it all in the last week. Forecast for tonight is 1-2" of rain, but I think that's still within the limits of what the drainages can handle without flooding my road.

Dan

Belay my last.

http://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs376.snc3/24115_1240921907998_1377814400_30542278_8180860_n. jpg

Also, it seems that the sump pump has stopped working.

The good news is that I installed a gravity drain a few years back, just outside the walk in doors. This is important, because the ground slopes toward those doors, and without the drain, my basement could fill up with a couple feet of water. Instead, it can get a couple inches deep, but can't hurt the furnace or chest freezer.

The bad news is that the concrete sill at the doors is two feet wide, at least a foot deep, and has softball to football sized rocks among its aggregate. I have hammers and a star drill, but that sill/threshold is the levee that holds the water in. I want to cut through it and put in a drain line about 6" below the top surface level.

Options seem to be a masonry blade for my Skil 77, or renting a jackhammer.

Dan

Fitz
03-31-2010, 09:25 AM
I remain amazed at the abilities of Ephraim Potter and his timberframe crew members from around 1700.

My basement is bone dry.

The Fire Department is pumping my neighbor out as we speak.