Friday, March 11, 2016


The big news this week in Louisiana is rainwater, turning into flood water.  More water than we've had in four or five years.  We've gotten over six inches of rain this week, officially, but the downpours have been much stronger in some places than in others.  Some locales are reporting as much as fifteen or twenty inches of rain over a three-day period.

All that rain has to go somewhere, and what we have now is backwater flooding.  All the tributaries of the major rivers are full, all the major rivers are full, and the water has no where to go.  The water backs up, flooding areas that don't normally flood.  It's impressive to see the water.  It also makes travel difficult.

On the border of Louisiana and east Texas, we have Toledo Bend Reservoir.  A huge lake that stretches for about a hundred miles along the border of the two states.  Formed as part of the Sabine river basin, tributaries from both states feed into the lake.  When the lake fills up, all that water has to go somewhere, so before it tops the dam, they open the spillway.  It's impressive.

That video was dated yesterday.  It's raining out there now. The folks downstream have had as much rain as the folks upstream, but they have to open the spillway to relieve pressure on the dam.  The folks downstream are about to get a large gush of fresh water, and as of this morning, the small bridges between the damn and I-10 are closed.  Too much water, too much flooding, and travel between Louisiana and Texas is all but shut down.

 This will only get worse over the next couple of days.  Hopefully by next week, we can start to dry out, but until then, we've got to deal with a five-year rain event.

Here's another view, from a light aircraft.

That's a lot of water, rolling downstream.


Anonymous said...

Y'all be safe. It seems every year more than a few folks have to be reminded that sill water runs deep...or swift.

I remember in the early '90s as I was launching a business my shipments were delayed for a week, then weeks, then months because the mighty Miss Sip had flooded his banks again but this time worse. What saved my fledging business was my competition was in the same predicament but I had placed large orders sooner so when shortages and backorders spiked I was able to deliver.

For sheer volume of water, check out Glen Canyon dam holding back Lake Powell (2nd largest man made lake, after Mead) when the penstocks are opened. Something like 15 million gallons/minute. I saw it in person in '08.

Old NFO said...

Our family land is above the dam at Negreet, wet, but okay...

Gerry N. said...

And that, Folks, is why da Missus and I bought a house on top of a ridge ten air miles from the nearest tideland. That and marrying that woman are the two best things I've ever done.