Make thee an ark

When I started working on this post, I almost didn’t use the ark quote as a title because it seemed like way too much exaggeration.  Now, three days and 9 inches of rain later, I’m beginning to re-evaluate that feeling.  Since last Tuesday, we’ve had, according to my mother’s rain gauge, 14 inches of rain, with an additional 4-8 inches forecast for this evening and tonight.  And, they’re calling for rain for another three days before we have a chance for relief.

So, with all that rain, guess what the area streams are doing.  Flooding?  How’d you guess.  The Black River has breached a levee, flooding Poplar Bluff and making it onto CNN.  Ellington is evacuating part of town, so Logan Creek must be rampaging and I expect McKenzie Creek in Piedmont must be doing the same. 

Here in Van Buren, the Current River crested this morning, just short of 19’ on the USGS gauge, narrowly missing the official floodstage of 20’.  This is the fourth time the river has crested in the last three days, each one higher than the last, and since it’s currently raining with more on the way, I expect it to start rising again soon.  The National Weather Service is predicting a 25.5’ crest very early in the morning on the 27th, though that forecast was made this morning before the river crested again.

Saturday, before the river really got going, I drove to Big Spring for a few photos, expecting it to be really surging.


The Van Buren gauge was reading about 9’ when I took this photo and the river thankfully wasn’t high enough yet to block to road to Big Spring, either at Peavine or the Hwy 103 entrance.  It was already backing up the spring branch and inundating the spring.


The USGS has a gauge for Big Spring too, located on the bridge over the spring branch, but it had stopped transmitting late the night before.  The last transmission showed a reading of 1170 ft³/s which converts to 756 million gallons per day, close to three times Big Spring’s “normal” flow.


As you can see, even with the river covering the spring, there was a powerful surge of water blasting out of the main spring outlet.  Big Spring never ceases to amaze me.

These last photos were taken yesterday when the river was at 16’, high enough to get the rubberneckers out (including me!)


We’ll close with one last photo, one that I like to call “Stating the obvious.”  They must have put that sign there in case there were some city folk around.  😉

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