Thursday, April 21, 2011

More high water coming

Last year we had the winter that would never end. This year we have the high water that will never end.

The National Weather Service says rain this weekend will aggravate existing problems with high water along the Ohio River.

Here at Huntington, the river is at 41.58 feet and could go to as high as 48.8 feet by Monday morning. according to the NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service.

Oh frac. Or oh frack. Whatever.

So what's the proper way to shorten "hydraulic fracturing"? I get the feeling some people are uncomfortable with the terms "frack" and "fracking," thanks to the recent "Battlestar Galactica" remake.

Anyway, here's a roundup of developments in the controversy surrounding the process used to extract natural gas from Marcellus shale.

Flood roundup

Will the Ohio River ever go down? It's been up for a long time, a fact noted by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in this article. I like these two paragraphs:

The National Weather Service in Moon recorded 16.57 inches of precipitation so far this year, more than 6 inches above average. As a result, shipping on the waterways is dropping off, the Port of Pittsburgh Commission says, and the flooded Mon Wharf garage keeps closing -- it will be closed again through the end of this week. Grass is uncut at city parks, trees are uprooting in saturated soil, and there's no hot asphalt to fix winter's potholes.

"The weather sucks," Pittsburgh Public Works Director Rob Kaczorowski said. "We can't wait until the sun comes out."

In Cincinnati, the Coast Guard wants to talk with various businesses and such to talk things over. The river is close to flood stage there, for the second time in a two months.

It seems the river here in the Huntington area has been high for six weeks or more. Even when the river goes down, we'll need several days for the banks to dry out before we can enjoy them again.

The Belle of Louisville has had to cancel its Easter cruise.

And yes, the river is a dangerous place to be in high water. At least two bodies have been found in the river the past couple of days, one in West Virginia's Northern Panhandle, and one here in Huntington.

Meanwhile, a man in Toronto, Ohio, tried using a canoe to recover a dock that had broken away and found himself in a tree hanging on for his life.

I'll be back down by the river when the water goes down and the banks dry out. I've taken my camera to a couple of favorite shooting spots, but there hasn't been much to see. I might make it down there again today to see what's happening.