Crow’s Nest: Hairy weather
By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager
Something more than five inches of rain fell on Tuesday in only a few hours, resulting in what we think was the worst flooding we’ve seen here—definitely the highest we’ve seen during a season when the ground wasn’t frozen and vegetation dormant. It could have been worse, but it has been a challenging couple days.
Above, a farm field trail under water. Below, upstream on French Creek from Harmonyville Road…
…and below the same bridge. Water crested higher than this—the air gap below the span later disappeared.
Power was out for 36 hours for many of us, more for other neighbors. A local cell phone tower must have been powered down because none of us could place calls or make texts. The local roads that weren’t blocked by fallen trees were impassable due to floodwaters. Below, a car drove through this water on Trythall Road and almost was swept away. It’s not just the depth of the water but the speed at which is it moving. We went around the long way ourselves, but had to cut our way through fallen trees to get where we were going—to reach more downed trees.
High winds at the end of the storm were responsible for most of the long-term damage. Northside Road was blocked by four trees at the preserve, more in the State Game Lands. Below, the neighbors chipped in to help clear the road. Obviously quality of photography was not a priority while we were working and making sure everyone was safe, could get out if they had to, and had some means of keeping food cold and communicating.
We lost some old friends. I had pruned this walnut tree (below) over the years so that it would not stick into the road and so the branches would be high enough that the vines wouldn’t reach them. But it apparently had insufficient root growth on the side facing the roadside drainage ditch and it simply blew over.
Some of the remaining cleanup is from trees that were not growing on the preserve but fell across the road into the preserve. Below, an oak covered in poison ivy.
Brush piles await chipping next week.