Sunday, March 13, 2011

Flood Sunday

Today I drove up to Glenwood, W.Va., on State Route 2. It's the lowest community along the Ohio River in the part I call home, meaning it's the first to flood when the river comes up.

Once there, I realized that I've photographing and writing about floods since 1978, but I had never been to the place that always floods first. And lately I've been thinking about Glenwood more. I hear that my great-grandfather ran a ferry between Glenwood and Swan Creek, Ohio. And another of my ancestors was building a barn in the Glenwood area at the time of his death. He got drunk in Gallipolis, Ohio, on a Saturday night, laid down beside the railroad tracks and was struck by a passing train. The obituary said he was clever and industrious when sober, but was addicted to drink. I guess his ex-wife helped write it.

Anyway, at the lower end of Glenwood was this RV sitting in water.

Here is the scene looking upriver. That's Trippett's Dandi Mart, a long-time locally owned convenience store in the water on the left.

People asked Milton Trippett if he was trying to clear a drain. No, he said, he was stirring up the mud. If he didn't, it would harden when the river goes down and be very hard to remove, he said.

The double yellow line of Route 2 runs off into the water.

And someone gets the family photo of the flood.

Looking back downriver, the water is starting to recede, as evidenced by the location of trash and vegetative matter on the road.

The mv. Andrew Canava heads down the river. This was taken while I was standing on Route 2, so the river it still almost at road level.

This was the third downbound towboat I'd seen in the space of about an hour, and at least two of the three were making good time, helped along by the current.

And that's about it for my flood photography for this event, I guess. Monday awaits, as always.

Too tall

Sometime this weekend, Adam put this status update on his Facebook page: "I did the math, and the river is about 5 barges deep"

Today, Joe Kincaid, a pilot on the AEP boat Hoosier State, left this comment: "You definitely don't have to worry about running aground any were near the middle of the river right now. You do however have to concerned with everything else. We can't even fit under the RR bridge at Point Pleasant. That's with everything laid down on top of the wheelhouse too."

Flood Saturday, Part 3

Final three pics from Saturday's trip up the Ohio River. Probably.

I saw a lot of this along Ohio Route 7.

One farmer saved as much as he could, but it looked like the river got more than half of it.

Here's the view from Mound Hill Cemetery at Gallipolis, Ohio. The bottomland over in West Virginia wasn't as flooded as I thought it would be.

At one time, I saw a boat off in the distance, pushing some barges up the river. Its engines were putting out a lot of smoke.

For the trip back to Huntington, I decided to try West Virginia Route 2 south of Point Pleasant. I got about eight miles, then I found the water over the bridge at Crab Creek. I shot this through my windshield and into the sun. I didn't get out of the car. If you look in the lower left corner, you'll see a  Dodge Durango turning around. There was a lot of that, and I didn't want to stand in traffic.

I didn't want to drive through this. Even if my car could have made it -- which I doubt -- there was too great a chance for damage. So I went back down the Ohio side.

There's one other spot I want to shoot. I might try to get to it today.

Flood Saturday, Part 2

Here is the mv. Midland, slowly moving toward the main lock at the Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam so it can continue up the Ohio River. Boats were moving very slow this day at some places. On the way up the river, I saw one boat chugging along, then it began drifting backward before it started moving forward again upbound.

If you look at the Midland, you can see the road along the top of the bank running behind the boat's nameboard beneath the pilothouse. In normal pool, the top of the boat is well below the road.

And here is the riverward guidewall at R.C. Byrd. Normally it's out of the water 30 feet or more. Here  it looks like the water is about to top it.

Because of the position of the sun at this time of day and the almost cloudless sky, the lighting here was not the best.

And the rollers of the dam are out of the water, of course.

Another sign advising people to turn around. If you look behind the sign, you may see a pile of trash and drift in the water. That's where the bridge over Teens Run is. It looks like that stuff is accumulating there and will have to be removed somehow or other.

Do you see a cardboard sign attached to road sign with duct tape?

My guess is that someone was trying to be helpful, or someone was tired of being asked for directions.

(To be continued).