Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Crash On the levee, mama, water’s gonna overflow. Swamp’s gonna rise, no boat’s gonna row

For the curious, some pictures I’ve been taking the last several days of the still encroaching Wabash in my little town of New Harmony. The top pic is the scene on my sidewalk for the past several days, a two inch hose constantly disgorging water from my sump pump. God bless you Dr. Sump wherever you are.

It’s not like the crazy overwhelming flooding Nashville experienced last year, it just creeps. It rained so non-stop for so many days, and the water table is so high, no more water can soak into the ground, and the pressure pushes it up into citizens’ basements through some principle of Artesian physics with which I’d rather be unfamiliar. The river is hopefully cresting tomorrow or Friday, and after that we’ll see. The second pic of lovely lake-front property, is a block and a half north of my house. There is not a lake there, I assure you. (The treeline in the far distance is the normal location of the river)

Have been doing little reconnaissance missions on my bike every afternoon. I might get a reputation as being the Bill Cunningham of New Harmony flooding, if anybody knew who Bill was. Damn sad to be missing that documentary about him at the Belcourt this week, but I gotta stay with my house til it’s safe.

Very anxious experience. Had visions of running water and destruction for several days before the house actually flooded. Last night is the first good night’s sleep I’ve had in 4-5 days. My furnace is out, but I think O.K., the hot water heater is up on a big slab and was spared.

Have become ultra-fascinated with floating debris, steps and curbs vanishing into water, and lakes where lakes aren’t. I can assure you that if Richard Meier or Philip Johnson could see how great their buildings look with the addition of a lake...they would want one immediately.

God bless all of the emergency management folks, national guard and prison folks who have sandbagged tirelessly. We owe you a lot. I know there are plenty of folks south of here on the Ohio, Mississippi, etc. that are far worse off. I feel for them.

I realise looking at these, that they seem kind of peaceful and bucolic. I’m here to tell you it’s been slightly terrifying. The uncertainty. I’m not good with uncertainty.