Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring Flood

The Meramec river is straining her banks again.  Floods are a fact of life in this river-rich region.  Some years, the creeks just dribble over the banks for a few hours.  Other years, the mightiest of rivers crest overtop the levies.  It is not a question of if, only where, when, and how much.  Since we've been squelching and squerching across a waterlogged landscape for the past several weeks, thirty hours of steady rain is dictating that the answers are close, now, and quite a lot.
I peek at the water level of the Meramec every weekday as I drive to and from work.  The river was a rich, muddy brown this morning.  I could hardly see where the water stopped and the bank began through the rain.  When the river is deep and dirty like that, it moves deceptively quickly.  As the day has passed, news of road closings and evacuations have been filtering in.  Those who live in low-lying areas have gone home to catch their cats and evacuate.   Those of us who live on higher ground are thanking our lucky stars and making sure our commutes are clear.
To me, the flood watch is the first sure sign of spring.  Daffodils can be fooled by a few warm days (mine poked their noses up only to be covered by snow the next day) and songbirds don't show up until well after the last frost.  But a cold, steady rain never lies.  I can't say that I enjoy the flood watch exactly, but I do embrace it.  It matches my mood.  I feel restless and out of sorts.  I'm anxious for the industry of spring but not quite ready to shake off the inertia of winter.  The water will recede in a couple of days and take my mood with it.  Then I'll be ready to pack away the sweaters and plant the lettuce.


Katie Alender said...

I'm glad you're on high ground, Christy!

Mary Witzl said...

I'm glad you're on high ground too! We've been getting plenty of rain as well, and there is a creek just across the street that grows dangerously high from time to time. So far it hasn't hit street level, but I've got my eye on it.