Friday, February 5, 2016

I, for one, miss our crappy river

    Columbia sits at the confluence of the Broad and Saluda Rivers, forming the Congaree. The Congaree is not a notably mighty river, by and large. Most of the time, you see people standing in it halfway across in water nowhere near their waist, trying to fish. I'm not going to try it but I suspect that you could walk across. The deal is that there are many lakes and reservoirs upstream on both the Broad (called the Catawba closer to Charlotte) and the Saluda. We've been in a drought for about 30 years, so the flow of the Congaree was fairly restricted for most of my life, as the water was needed upstream. Apart from the people standing in the river, you could nearly always see rocks in the river. On the one hand, it made the river look... piddling, maybe. On the other, it never, ever looked threatening.
    Although there weren't floods exactly, the kookoo weather started last year in April, as I recall. It just rained like crazy. The actual floods started at the end of September if I recall correctly. (I could look it up, in this blog if not on Google, but the actual date isn't that important.) And though we've had breaks, we've had torrential rains every week or so ever since. The river recedes, but never to the levels I'm used to from pre-2015. And it is more than a little threatening. There's a poem etched into a large stone at the entrance to the still-closed Canal Park. An awful poem by a presumably local bard named Max Revelise. It was about the Congaree and all I remember about it is that it starts, "O tawny flood!" I always thought this was soooo funny. I don't think it's so funny anymore.

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