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Dear Bullethead,

 

I hope that you are okay and live on relatively high ground. Is your house threatened by the opening of the Morgansa spillway? My thoughts are with you and your family. Take care and let us know how you are doing.

 

For those of you who do not live in the USA, the Mississippi River is having major flooding. To relieve some of the pressure on the river, the Army Corp of Engineers is opening a dam that will allow a surge of water almost 15 feet in some places to cover much of the bayou of Louisiana. Here is a link to an article about a small town that may literally be wiped off the map by the flooding: http://www.cnn.com/2...x.html?hpt=Sbin

 

HPW

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Damn, I didn't know about this!

Bullethead will probably not read this then; he must have more important things to do than visiting this forum.

Even if his own house should be safe, he may be helping others to save theirs.

Thanks for posting this, HPW. My very best wishes are with you and your people, Bullethead!

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That's a mighty tough situation there now - good luck to you Bullethead. I have family down there as well in New Orleans and as far as I know they're safe enough for now.

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Thanks for your concern but it's not necessary for me personally. Lousy Anna's armpit is a plateux containing most of the highest ground in the state. Except for the batture areas, everything is at least 100 feet high sloping up to 250 feet. while the Mississippi River is only going to get to 65.5 feet here next Sunday. So me and mine are high and dry, and laughing at those across the River who live in low areas :). But only out of 1/2 our mouths because if the flatlanders have a major problem, we'll have to go help them. But for now, we're just on standby.

 

Now, I have a few words to put things in perspective.....

 

The Morganza Spillway is directly across the Mississippi River from where I live. On Friday, the day before it was opened, I drove across the very Morganza floodgates that the media is going on about now. I can post some pics if anybody's interested but I figure you all have seen it on TV by now. But the important thing for you all to know is that the media is lying when they say this spillway was opened to save Baton Rouge and New Orleans at the expense of rural areas. The expected height of the Mississippi River from here on down was actually expected to be BELOW the tops of all levees, and opening the the floodgates will only reduce the height downstream by about 2 feet, not enough to make much difference anyway. The REAL reason they opened Morganza was because the water was starting to come over the tops of the levees between the Mississippi River and the Morganza floodgates. If this was allowed to continue, then those levees would have failed and areas outside the Atchafalaya Basin would have flooded. And in that case, the Mississippi River would have gone that way and not come back.

 

Here's something that's not widely publicized but is a fact of life.... The Mississippi River no longer wants to turn SE at my location and go through Baton Rouge and New Orleans to its current mouth. Instead, it very badly wants to head back down its ancient channel, now called the Atchafalaya River. See, over the millennia, the Mississippi has pivoted around the high ground where I live. About 20,000 years ago, it kept going straight south down the Atchafalaya, then about 10,000 years ago it shifted SSE to what is now Bayou La Fourche, and then about 5,000 years ago it shifted to a due E course past what is now New Orleans. The delta it made then cut what is now Lake Pontchartrain off from the rest of the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, it's pivoted twice at English Turn just downstream of New Orleans, first creating the "toe" of the Lousy Anna "boot", and finally swinging back a bit to the south into its present mouth. But rivers lay down silt, so what was once the lowest ground eventually becomes higher, making the river want to seek a new path of least resistence. And right now the Atchafalaya Basin is that path.

 

Just upstream of where I live is the Old River Control Structure, intended to prevent this from happening. It funnels all the Red River ([previously a tributary of the Mississippi) and 30% of the Mississippi's flow down the Atchafalaya River. IOW, it bleeds off just enough to keep the Mississippi flowing where it does now, but it's at capacity and can do no more. Someday it will inevitably fail and then the Mississippi River will go down the Atchafalaya, leaving the major ports of Baton Rouge and New Orleans high and dry. This is expected to happen within the next century or so, and will of course cause major economic dislocation if no preparations for it have been made. Such preparations include making Morgan City the new big port, but that hasn't even begun to be a wet dream yet, primarily due to politics of the current big ports. After all, that's where the money in the state now is, making Morgan City a backwater small town in the shrimping and offshore oil business.

 

Sorry to digress into local politics, but Lousy Anna is all about corrupt politics so I have to mention it in passing. Bottom line is, if they hadn't opened Morganza, the change of the Mississippi's mouth would have happened right now instead of decades or centuries hence, and nobody is ready for that to happen yet. So that's why they opened it. NOT TO SAVE THE CITIES! PERIOD. And EVERYBODY with at least 2 brain cells knows NOT TO BUILD between the flood levees of the Atchafalaya Basin, because the floodgates can be opened any time. So I can't feel sorry for anybody who has built a home there, and you shouldn't, either.

 

This is not to say, however, that Baton Rouge and New Orleans aren't in danger. Although their levees are tall enough even without Morganza being opened, this high water is not only a record high, but it's going to last 4-6 weeks. That's a LONG time for the levees to hold that type of pressure and nobody knows if they can because it's never happened before. And every day, the levees and the land they sit on are getting more and more saturated. Already, a week before the crest, the levees in Baton Rouge are showing weakness, so it'll only be a matter of luck if they hold.

 

And remember, this was going to happen even WITHOUT opening Morganza.

 

I drove through Baton Rouge today and the river was within about 4 feet of the levee tops, WELL above street level on the other side. They're so concerned they haven't been allowing folks to drive on the levees or the roads adjacent to them for the past week, and have even stopped pedestrian traffic, too, so I could only see this from the I-10 bridge, looking down on it. I've only seen the River nearly this high once before, back in the 1973 Flood when I lived in New Orleans, but it didn't last nearly as long as this is supposed to last, and wasn't quite as high.

 

But I say again, where I live (north of St. Francisville on US Hwy 61), things are just fine. The batture areas around St. Francisville are flooded and have been for a week. The Cat Island swamp and NWR has been flooded for about 3 weeks and all the coons, possums, deer, turkeys, coyotes, alligators, snakes, wild hogs, bears, and panthers that live there have been moving uphill into my area the whole time. The Angola Prison, in the batture but surrounded by massive levees, has been evacuated just in case, so all of Lousy Anna's worst murderers are living in a tent city about 5 miles away, but I've caught escapees before and can do it again. Besides, I haven't had the opportunity to kill a worthless human being in a bit over 20 years now so I've got a huge jones for it :butcher: .

 

Anyway, all is well, my powder is dry, and this isn't expected to change. Worst case is we get an early hurricane while all our creeks and bayous are backed up with the flood water, in which case we'll have a number of low-lying areas flooded rapidly enough to require help evacuating. Otherwise we're just on standby to help the topologically challenged folks downstream, where the water won't be as high as it is here now, and we've got a week to go before we crest.

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Here are some pics you all probably haven't seen on the news:

 

Batture Looking W from Catholic Hill, 15 May 2011

St Francisville 15 May 2011 A

The town of St. Francisville is built on a high bluff on the east bank of the Mississippi River, completely safe from the flood. This pic was taken from the W edge of both the town and the bluff and is looking W, so the town is behind me here. We call this spot "Catholic Hill" because the Catholic church is built right there--I'm standing at the edge of its parking lot.

 

The Mississippi River meanders a lot and is actually flowing W-E as it goes by the town, so this view is looking upstream and parallel to the normal channel. The normal channel is about a mile off the left edge of the pic. Between it and the bluff is an area of batture that floods every year to a greater or lesser extent--this year it's flooded completely. There used to be a small city down there (under the trees in the left background) called Bayou Sara, which in the 1800s was the largest port on the Mississippi between New Orleans and Natchez, but it washed away completely in the Great Flood of 1927. Since then, only a few structures have been built down there: about 6 houses and 1 small industrial complex, plus a bar. All of them flood every few years so folks are well aware of the problem and live accordingly. All the rest of St. Francisville is up on top of the bluff behind me.

 

Until a week ago, a road came down from Catholic Hill, just to the left of the flooded houses here, then angled off through the site of Bayou Sara to the ferry landing. This ferry was the only place to cross the Mississippi between Baton Rouge and Natchez. For the last couple of years, however, they've been building a bridge a few miles downstream from St. Francisville to replace the ferry. It wasn't supposed to open for a couple months but they had to rush it through because the River was rising so fast. This put the ferry out of business ahead of schedule because the access road flooded out.

 

Batture Looking SSW from Catholic Hill

St Francisville 15 May 2011 B

This is looking off to the of the pic above. The submerged road is the one that used to go to the ferry. The house you see here stands on stilts about 6 feet above the ground, so that tells you how deep the water is. Incidentally, in the Great Flood of 1997, the water got up to the window sills of this house, at about 53 feet, which was the previous record and we're not quite there yet this time. However, we're expecting about 63 feet by next weekend now that they've opened Morganza, so I suppose the water will reach about 1/2 way up the roof this time. But hey, that's what happens when you build in a flood plain.

 

Baton Rouge Looking NNE from I-10 Bridge

Baton Rouge I-10 15 May 2011

This is about 45 miles as the buzzard flies SE of St. Francisville, but more like 60 river miles due to meanders. Here the River is flowing N-S and is expected to crest at about 45 feet next weekend. The levee here is about 48 feet tall and you can just barely see the top few feet of it as a tan line between the water and the buildings. This is why they're concerned, because naturally the tops aren't as thick as the bottoms and aren't faced with concrete. Already they're getting sand boils under the levee here all along down town Baton Rouge, and this high water is going to be here for weeks to come. Opening Morganza is only going to help this a tiny bit.

 

In the left background, the tall spiky things with steam coming out are the towers of the huge Exxon-Mobil refinery, about the biggest one in the US. Many of the US's other refineries line the River from here on down to New Orleans. All of them are threatened with flooding, which is one of the factors currently driving up the price of gasoline.

 

Atchafalaya River Looking S from I-10 Bridge

Atchafalaya River I-10 15 May 2011

I-10 crosses the Atchafalaya Basin between Baton Rouge and Lafayette, on a 20-mile long bridge across the whole swamp. In the middle of this swamp is the Atchafalaya River itself, which some thousands of years ago was the mouth of the MIssissippi River. Thanks to the Old River Control Structure, the Atchafalaya always carries all the Red River's and 30% of the Mississippi River's flows, so is pretty impressive at all times. With both those rivers at historic highs now, so too is the Atchafalaya. As you can see, the lower branches of the trees on both banks are in the water, meaning that the river is over its banks and spreading for miles to either side out through the surrounding swamp.

 

This pic was taken the day after they opened the Morganza Spillway, but that water won't reach this spot for another day or 2 (due to the distance between), so what you see here is just what's been going on before.

 

Corps of Engineers Flooding Map

CoE Flooding Map Extract

This is part of a map published last week by the US Army Corps of Engineers showing the expected amount of flooding if they opened the Morganza Spillway, which they now in fact have. I have the whole map but it's a 10meg PDF file so I've so far only uploaded this little bit of it.

 

Anyway, I put this up here to show how this whole thing works. In this pic, the heavy black dashed lines are either levees or (in West Feliciana Parish) bluffs. So in West Feliciana, everything SW of the dashed line is batture or swamp, almost totally uninhabited. So even though 1/2 the parish is underwater, it happens to some extent every year so no big deal.

 

The actual spillway runs from the floodgates at Morganza to the Atchafalaya at Melville, a distance of about 20 miles. From there, the water runs down between levees 20-40 miles apart surrounding the whole Atchafalaya Basin, which is also almost all swamp. As you can see, towns in the basin have ring levees around them for just this set of circumstancs, so should mostly be OK, assuming the levees hold, but that's the question everywhere.

 

The reason the Corps open Morganza's gates is because the levees leading to it from the Mississippi River were being overtopped. If they got, then the whole Mississippi will fulfill its dream of returning to the Atchafalaya.

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Man, good to hear you are living high & dry enough, Bullethead!

I wonder, how much longer they will be able to keep 'Ol' man river' in this bed, that he doesn't seem to want anymore.

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Good to hear you're not in trouble, Bullethead. That's some very interesting information you posted there, and the photos are great. I had no idea about the changes happening to the Mississippi (too many s's in that name!). :good:

 

When a river as massive as the Mississippi decides to change its course, there's very little humans can do except try to adapt to the new situation. We're all pretty insignificant inhabitants of this planet when compared to the mighty forces of nature, and our impact on many things is very superficial.

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Thanks for the info, BH. Glad to hear that everything is fine with you, and like you've said, the powder is still dry. :good:

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I wonder, how much longer they will be able to keep 'Ol' man river' in this bed, that he doesn't seem to want anymore.
When a river as massive as the Mississippi decides to change its course, there's very little humans can do except try to adapt to the new situation. We're all pretty insignificant inhabitants of this planet when compared to the mighty forces of nature, and our impact on many things is very superficial.

 

That is the 64 trillion dollar question: when will the Mississippi River change course? It's not a question of if, but when. It's only still where it is now because humans have worked extremely hard for a very long time to keep it there. Besides the Old River Control Structure, they do MASSIVE amounts of dredging on a daily basis in the present channel in an effort to keep it lower than the Atchafalaya. But the more water comes down the river, the more silt it brings, so the worse things gets. I expect that right now, during this high water, it's silting up much more rapidly than all the dredges in the world can keep up with.

 

Humans have both helped and hurt the situation, too. As mentioned, the various things in my part of Lousiana are all intended to keep the river where it is now while preventing highly populated areas from flooding. However, for most of the River's length, the Corps of Engineers many decades ago put a LOT of effort into straightening the River out, cutting canals through meanders and such. While this had the short-term benefit of vastly reducing the distance barges have to travel from New Orleans to Chicago, it's meant that the River's current has become faster because it doesn't have so many turns to go through. This means that it causes more levee erosion dlownstream AND also doesn't drop much silt upstream. Thus, not only are levees downstream faced with more erosion than initially expected, but nearly all the slit from all the US between the Rockies and the Appalachians, and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf, gets carried down the River to Lousy Anna. There the River hits the oceans and suddenly stops, so the silt all gets dumped from there up to New Orleans, so that's the stretch that gets the most dredging.

 

Meanwhile putting levees along the River has caused another problem. While it's kept cities and farmland dry, it's also prevented the River from rebuilding the surrounding lands. See, before the levees, at times like this the River used to flood vast areas below New Orleans, dumping the silt over thousands of square miles. Thus, the area got fresh topsoil and also kept pace with erosion from the ocean and subsidence into the ocean. Without this yearly layer of silt, the areas beside the River are sinking and being washed away by the ocean at its present level, let alone if it rises any more due to the ice caps melting YET AGAIN (as they have many times in Earth's history before Al Gore came along to take the credit for it). So south Lousy Anna is rapdily disappearing and the Gulf is moving north. The land being lost is mostly swamp, which is turning first into salt marsh and then shallow sea. These swamps used to be a big buffer zone for hurricane storm surge protecting all the cities, towns, refineries, what have you south of the line from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. Now the surge has much easier access to these places. Over the last few years, as this problem has become more apparent, they've been trying to dump the silt dredged up from the River's channel into the surrounding areas, but there's no way they'll ever get enough transportation to move that much dirt, let alone enough dredges to create enough dirt to really make a difference.

 

So at the bottom line, Lousy Anna as we know it today is a terminal patient on failing life support. In the not too distant future, the Mississippi River will be flowing a short distance down the Atchafalaya, where it will soon enter the Gulf of Mexico at about the latitude of US Hwy 190.. Before much longer, the bluffs of St. Francisville will be beachfront property. On the plus side, however, there will be excellent fishing at the many artificial reefs just offshore, where Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and everything else south of St. Francisville used to be. I say, hasten that day because New Orleans and Baton Rouge at least both deserve such a fate. Once the River moves to the Atchafalaya, there won't be any need for those places anymore anyway.

 

BTW, note that even when the River stays more or less in its present position, it still changes course by cutting off its meanders and moving a few miles the other way. On the Corps of Engineers map linked above, you can see several such oxbow lakes. There's a big one under the words "Pointe Coupee", which is called False River, which happened many centuries ago. But there's another about the same size that happened in the mid 1800s. The heavy gray dashed lines are parish (aka county) boundaries. See the loop the boundary makes between the W in "West Feliciana" and the N end of the straight brown line of the Morganza floodgates? The area within that loop is Raccourci Island (pronounced "Rack-uh-see"). The River itself these days goes straight across the neck of this loop just left of the W in "West Feliciana".

 

As you can see, this happened in recent times, AFTER they'd set the boundary between West Feliciana and Pointe Coupee. In fact, Mark Twain says it happened in his day, and that when Raccourci Old River (the oxbow lake) got cut off, there was a steamboat trapped in the loop. They got to one end, found it cut off, so reversed course and found the end they'd entered by cut off as well when they got back there. So after that, there was a ghost steamboat in that oxbow lake, constantly going back and forth looking for a way out. Some folks claim to have seen it in recent times :yikes: . Someday the same thing will happen to the Cat Island swamp, unless the River moves to the Atchafalaya first. It might be occurring even now, and will become apparent once the flood goes down.

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Good to hear that you are high and dry, Bullethead. Ironic that the Mississippi is flooding while most of Louisiana is in the midst of a drought. Even though you are safe from flooding--and murderers--be sure to be careful fishing out those idiots who choose to stay in the basin areas and get flooded out over their eyeballs.

 

Interesting stuff about Ole Man River. The Mississippi is the most engineered river in the world, I have heard--and not always the best engineered! Maybe more bad than good, actually. I vaguely recall reading years ago in The National Geographic Magazine about the Mississippi wanting to bo back to its ancient riverbed. Hell, once it does go back, it will then be itching to return again to the current route. Only it will take it another 25,000 years or so to do so. :grin:

Edited by Herr Prop-Wasche

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Good to hear that you are high and dry, Bullethead. Ironic that the Mississippi is flooding while most of Louisiana is in the midst of a drought.

 

Yeah, quite ironic. The worst part is, although the farmland in the soon-to-be-flooded spillway area will get well-irrigated, it probably won't be like the ancient Nile floods in terms of leaving good new topsoil for next year. The expectation is that mostly the River will leave worthless sand there, ruining vast expanses of fields and pastures.

 

I just uploaded some more pics. These were actually taken before the others, on 13 May, when I drove over the floodgates of the Morganza Spillway. This was about 24 hours before they opened, so the level of the water leading up to them was as high as it's ever been.

 

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Yeah, quite ironic. The worst part is, although the farmland in the soon-to-be-flooded spillway area will get well-irrigated,

it probably won't be like the ancient Nile floods in terms of leaving good new topsoil for next year. The expectation is that

mostly the River will leave worthless sand there, ruining vast expanses of fields and pastures.

Whatever man tried and still tries to get out more from nature, than nature is ready to give, failed.

It's like with money. If it stands for the food and the work available in this world - how can it be that you can increase money,

when you can not increase the food or the work done?

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Sand, instead of rich topsoil, is again the result of man's meddling with the river. If left to its own, the river would naturally re-enrich the farmland that extends along the flatlands for miles and miles on each side of it. Of course, that would mean that only farms and farmers could live in those areas--no cities, suburbs, or apartments. Yeah, like that's gonna happen!

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A few more pics taken today--same link as above.

 

These show the river pretty much at its crest here, which is only a couple feet higher than it was several days ago. This is the effect of opening the Morganza Spillway for us. Instead of cresting at 65.5 feet on 23 May, we're cresting at about 55 feet tomorrow. We're within a few inches of that already.

 

That makes a big difference for us. It really won't change how many of our buildings flood because only those on the low ground were going to regardless. However, they'll have a lot less water in them. This will probably keep the houses in my pics from washing away, which was a distinct possibility with 10 feet more water (because they're in a fairly high current area). It will also save some of our local industries, a factory that makes forklift pallets and a papermill. The pallet factory is on slightly higher ground than the houses in my pics so only has a few inches in some parts of it, meaning it would have been 10 feet under if they hadn't opened the spillway. The papermill is further downstream, in the SE corner of the parish, so the crest there is lower than at St. Francisville, and it's surrounded by its own levee. However, it's levee probably wasn't going to be tall enough. As it is, there's still a question of whether it will hold for the duration, but both businesses are still in operations today.

 

BTW, here's another example of how governments always screw things up. In Lousy Anna, "parishes" (aka counties) are run by a "police jury" (aka board of county commissioners). Anyway, the other day our "police jury president" (aka head dumbass) was being inteviewed on TV and said St. Francisville had 25 feet of flooding. This of course is totally untrue--even the batture areas in my pics have only 10-12 feet of water over them in the deep areas and only a couple feet over the raised roads down there. And besides, the town itself is way high and dry--it's just the batture that's flooded. But of course, this is only known to locals, so those elsewhere had to go by the guy who supposedly knows the most. Problem is, the main industry hereabouts is tourism, so all the folks who had reservations for this week canceled. This raised a big stink, so now the police jury is spending my tax money on a crash TV commercial blitz saying we're really not flooded.

Edited by Bullethead

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Bullethead: ...now the police jury is spending my tax money on a crash TV commercial blitz saying we're really not flooded.

 

Isn't it always again amazing, when politicians or officials prove, that the desaster you believe to witness is not there at all?

That you just misinterpreted the whole situation?

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Isn't it always again amazing, when politicians or officials prove, that the desaster you believe to witness is not there at all?

That you just misinterpreted the whole situation?

 

Yup.

 

I keep seeiing on the news how Memphis, TN, and Vicksburg, MS, are flooded, and they show pics of flooded houses (mostly actually doublewide trailers). It's like at St. Francisville-towns on the east side of the river are on bluffs, so only their low-lying surrounding areas, known since colonial days as being flood-prone, are actually underwater today. It's hard to feel sorry for folks who live there because they knew this when the moved in.

 

I find highy amusing is pics of doublewide trailers whose owners have surrouned them with private levees. Sometimes these have worked, sometimes not. But because such levees cost more than the doublewide trailers they protect (or attempt to protect), there are a number of questions left begging. Such as...

 

1. If you have enough money AND time to pile that much dirt around your doublewide, why not tow the doublewide to higher ground instead?

 

2. In the alternative, given that much time and money, why not hire a piledriver and crane to siink and put your doublewide up upon stilts higher than the water will ever come?

 

3. In the alternative, given only that much money, why buy land in known flood zones instead of something up safely on the bluff?

 

4. Did you get UACE and/or USCG approval to build a levee in a navigable watewar and/or federally regulated wetland? Can you afford the fines for not doing so? Can you also pay the fines for violating local fire codes for blocking access to your doublewide by fire apparatus? Can you pay the fines for violating local health ordnances RE: creating a stagnant, shallow pond in an area rife with malaria, yellow fever, and West Nile virus?

 

5. Assuming you'll owe all these fines when the water goes down and business returns to normal, not to mention the initial cost of your levee itself, can you live with your wife's nagging because it did'nt work anyway, so all this expense was for nothing?

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1. If you have enough money AND time to pile that much dirt around your doublewide, why not tow the doublewide to higher ground instead?

2. In the alternative, given that much time and money, why not hire a piledriver and crane to siink and put your doublewide up upon stilts higher than the water will ever come?

 

Lack of experience, I'd say. They have no idea of the level the water may reach, and especially about the force and pressure of water.

I often notice, that in films, big fires in buildings are mostly shown as bright burning wild flames. The firemen can still see everything and their

only threat seem to be the flames. But when I spoke with a fireman, he described it totally different. Thick, dense smoke makes it impossible to

see anything much; even with an oxygen mask you don't see where you are most of the time. A very different danger.

If now a person only knows big fires from movies, he/she will be totally unprepared for the real thin.

 

3. In the alternative, given only that much money, why buy land in known flood zones instead of something up safely on the bluff?

Is there still higher land available for "normal" prices?

 

In my homeland Ostfriesland, men learnt to build sea dykes of immense size. But they started comparably low, hundreds of years ago.

A modern sea dyke has a basic depth of 60 - 95 meters. A lot of space, earth and sand is used up in them.

Now they have made them higher again, but couldn't fill it all with earth or clay. They filled the core with sand.

The danger of that is: when the water finds it's way through mouse or mole tunnels, it may wash the sand out.

To care for that, we have large herds of sheep. They eat their way along the dyke and step on these little tunnels,

fastening the clay again. It's a neverending job.

 

 

Edited by Olham

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I often notice, that in films, big fires in buildings are mostly shown as bright burning wild flames. The firemen can still see everything and their only threat seem to be the flames. But when I spoke with a fireman, he described it totally different. Thick, dense smoke makes it impossible tosee anything much; even with an oxygen mask you don't see where you are most of the time. A very different danger.

If now a person only knows big fires from movies, he/she will be totally unprepared for the real thing.

 

Yup, you usually can't even see fhe fire itself, just an indistinct glow, but the audience has to see the actors you know :lol: . I mean, if you realistically depicted the cliche'd scene in every fireman movie where the main characters are arguing in a fire whether to go foward or retreat, it would be a black screen with only some muffled grunting and unidentifiable thumping and bumping going on for a while. Talking is pretty much impossible due to the air masks and you can't see hand gestures, so firemen mostly communicate with punches, pushes, pulls, and playing tug-of-war with the hose, none of which can be seen, either How well is that going to work for the dramatic crisis of the whole show? :blink:

 

Is there still higher land available for "normal" prices?

 

Sure, somebody's always selling their property and moving elsewhere. I'm just saying cost of low ground + levee probably = cost of high ground, with the trailer being a wash.

 

In my homeland Ostfriesland, men learnt to build sea dykes of immense size. But they started comparably low, hundreds of years ago.

A modern sea dyke has a basic depth of 60 - 95 meters. A lot of space, earth and sand is used up in them.

Now they have made them higher again, but couldn't fill it all with earth or clay. They filled the core with sand.

The danger of that is: when the water finds it's way through mouse or mole tunnels, it may wash the sand out.

To care for that, we have large herds of sheep. They eat their way along the dyke and step on these little tunnels,

fastening the clay again. It's a neverending job.

 

We have similar problems, although our levees mostly have clay cores. Our main tunnelers are crayfish and our grazers are cows. And one of the main tasks of the cows is eating trees and bushes before they get big enough for their roots to become problems.

 

Even so, the levees only go so far into the ground and the underlying soil usually isn't clay but silt. Thus, water tends to get under them to a greater or lesser extent, causing "sand boils" on the outer side at the bottom. This is where water flows through fast enough to cause wet sand to boil up out of the ground. These are always quite worrisome because they can quickly undermine the levee, so there's an army of guys (soldiers, state workers, private contractors, and jail inmates) going around reinforcing these areas as fast as they can. They'll be doing this for the duration or until a levee fails somewhere and makes further work pointless.

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Our main tunnelers are crayfish...

:rofl: Sorry, but that sounded so funny. We Ostfriesen can't think of anything else but mice and

moles; maybe Bisam rats from the landside trenches - but "tunneling fish" would sure be our end -

there'd be just too many of them in the North Sea. That's why the seaward forward dyke front there

is a wall of big basalt blocks.

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A friend of mine has an airplane so I recently got some aerial pics of the local area.

 

http://http://www.flickr.co...57626733860896/

 

Nothing traumatic but still slightly dramatic. And of course still waiting on which will win over the long haul: the levees or the weight of high water.

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