To play catch up, you can read the past progress reports here.
After raining for over 24 hours and dumping a fair amount of rain on the area, curiosity got the better of me and I had to go take a look at the Blackberry Creek dam removal site. I had already checked the USGS Stream Flow Gage for Blackberry Creek. Normal for this time of year has the creek flowing at 48 Cubic Feet per Second. The last time I looked the creek was flowing along at 172 CFS.
Years ago someone explained to me how the Gage Height in Feet works, but it didn’t make any sense then and 12 years later and looking at it on a regular basis, it still doesn’t make any sense. When the creek is practically dry and I can walk across parts of it without even getting my ankles wet, the flow is about 20 CFS, but the Gage Height in Feet says it’s at 3.15 feet.
Okay, compared to what?
The closest I got to the creek was the hill that overlooks it. Taking pictures at that distance didn’t make any sense and getting closer was out of the question. I’ve had more than enough bad experiences on muddy shores next to flooded rivers to know walking down there would be stupid, but what follows is what I saw.
Above is a shot of the channel right after they finished this section. If I were standing on the creek bed at this spot it would easily be six feet down. On the upstream end it’s maybe 18 inches. The whole stretch is filled with water. On the shallow end you can barely see the tops of the rocks. On the deep end you can’t see any rocks at all, they’re completely under water.
In the shot above is the pump that runs continuously to drain any extra water out while they were working on this stretch. I couldn’t see the pump at all so I’m assuming it was buried under the water.
It took a lot to fight the urge to go down to the first coffer dam to see if it was breached or if the water had collected this much in this stretch. When the ground was pretty well frozen it was hard to walk on the layer of mud. After this thaw and all the rain, I wasn’t really in the mood to be taking a mud bath if something went wrong.
The water was flowing pretty strong through the bypass and into the pond and it looked like the whole pond had come up a good foot.
The temperatures are going back down below freezing for the next five days and even below zero is called for on Thursday night. This should do a pretty good job of freezing all the mud and the water level in the creek should start going back down.
When I get out there on Sunday to check it out, it should be interesting to see how it all looks and maybe I won’t get myself killed in the process.