Posts Tagged ‘flooding river’


When I went out Friday morning, I noticed that the water level in the little river was very high. The water was flowing just below the top limit of the two big culverts that direct the river under the road. Back in August, the river had been reduced to a trickle but all that changed in September.


In September, the rains came. It rained and it rained, and then it rained some more. We came within 3 mm of setting a new record for September rainfall.


The previous record of 177 mm was set in 1945, more than half a century ago. On September 30th of this year, we reached 174 mm. After all those rainy days, it was rather sad not to break the old record. As I drove over to Ponygirl’s place on October 1st, I could see water everywhere, in swollen creeks, roadside ditches, and flooded fields.


By the time I returned to Willow House in the afternoon, the water level had exceeded the tops of the two culverts. Whirlpools had formed at the edge of each culvert as flowing water was sucked into the pipe.


I stopped the car and climbed out. Standing watching the swirling water was mesmerizing. The water surface was eerily still and quiet. No waves or wind-whipped water. Just the gentle gurgle of the whirlpool, which undoubtedly represented a powerful surge quite different from the calm appearance presented by the water surface.


Over the weekend, the water level gradually receded and the river returned to more modest proportions.


When I walked down to see how the river looked this morning, I noticed that there was an orange mark spray painted on a rock. Presumably, it was a town employee who recorded the high water mark reached by the swollen river. The mark seemed like a dare, September saying to the incoming month: “Check that out, October! Beat that!”

But today is bright and sunny, if a bit on the cool side. No rain in sight. Hopefully, October has other plans.


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While the normal temperature for mid-January is around -6°C, a warming trend saw the thermometer rise to 6°C by Monday. Thus, the precipitation that fell all day, which normally would have been snow at this time of year, came down instead as rain. The remaining snow was washed away in areas that had been shovelled or plowed. The temperature dropped below freezing overnight, and by Tuesday morning, the water that was lying on the surface of the frozen ground had formed sheets of ice.

The river was flooded, the waterlevel as high as I’ve ever seen it in the year we’ve been here.

Giant  shelves of ice were tipped up in the water.

I walked down to where the road crosses the river. The water level was near the top of the two large drainage pipes that carry the flow beneath the road. The smaller drainage pipes nearer the riverbank are nearly empty under normal conditions. Now they were completely submerged, with little whirlpools forming at the surface as water was sucked down into the tube.

With some 41 millimetres of rain falling by late Monday afternoon, Ottawa broke the 33.6-millimetre record set in 1995.

River view, upstream

River view, downstream

The sander truck came by, leaving a pattern of crusty arches on the icy road surface.

Temperatures are expected to return to the seasonal average, about -7°C daytime and -15°C at night, by the weekend.

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