Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sandbagging the School

So this morning Janice told me I'd see something interesting if I looked out the window.

She was right. There was a huge piece of construction equipment carefully placing giant sandbags around the school (Neely-O'Brien elementary). Unlike along the levees, they were stacking these two high. Obviously they were taking advantage of the students' absence because of Armistice Day to get the job done. Interesting.

This of course comes as part of their second stage of sandbagging. They've already placed them all along our side of the Green River, having finished that up around the beginning of the month (their target date, and the official opening of flood season, being November 1st). At first it didn't look like they were going to give similar treatment to the other (west) bank, which makes sense since West Hill runs close to the river and there aren't nearly as many people between that levee and safety. Still, it seemed a bit hard on the Rivercreek and other developments that have sprung up over there during the last three years or so. Not to worry: looks like they're now at work on that levee as well.

Also in the good news department, a piece in the local Kent paper says that the Army Corp of Engineers now thinks the 1-in-3 chance of flooding here they'd predicted has now changed to a 1-in-25 chance, thanks to the emergency repairs they've been making on the embankment next to the dam. Add in the sandbags, and that little extra margin of safety they provide, and they say that makes it a 1-in-32 chance.

So, while we've been working hard to get ready, it looks like the chances of disaster here are going down considerably. Still, it's a little disturbing to find out that under normal conditions (with the dam fully functional) there's still a 1-in-400 chance of a flood here every year. A fact of life it's better to know about than not.

--JDR

current reading: ANATHEM by Neil Stephenson

1 comment:

Hydra said...

It is really a good idea to prevent floods by using sandbags. It will not only stop disaster but also will save many lives of people.