Thursday, June 7, 2007
I live on the floodplain of British Columbia's largest river, The Fraser River, and every year there is a flood warning. This year might be the worst; we're skirting the statistical probability from the last floods. The Fraser River drains a basin of 233,000 square kilometers and runs a distance of 1370 km, a large part of BC. The annual spring snowmelt freshets of the river's system pose the greatest flood hazard to those of us who occupy its floodplain.
Over the last century the Fraser River rose to flood heights more than 25 times. The greatest flood occurred n 1894, during the very early stages of settlement in the lower Fraser valley. Not too many people were affected, but it forewarned a hazard to those who did settle there of the potential for flooding in years to come. The next major flood happened in 1948, breaching dyking systems and flooding more than 22,000hectares, nearly one third of the entire lower Fraser Valley floodplain area. Estimated damage amounted to about $20 million. The next big flood came in 1972, when high temperatures in the Interior valleys toward the end of May caused rapid snowmelt. This time a lot more people were affected and damage amounted to about $10 million.
Well, it's been really hot recently and now its raining. It's been raining for a while...
Reminds me of the Great Flood...the deluge...sent by a deity or deities to destroy civilization as an act of devine retribution for ill thoughts and deeds. The Great Flood is a widespread theme in Greek and many other cultural myths. Known by the biblical story of Noah, it is alwo well known in other versions, such as stories of Matsya in the Hindu Puranas, Deucalion in Greek mythology and Utnaphishtim in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Many of our world's cultures share a story of a "great flood" that devastated earlier civilization.
Just so you know, I've temporarily moved my office to the Mother Ship, from where I'll be conducting my business for the next little while...just looking after the business...Oh, FRELL! I left the cat behind!
Ah...I just called my neighbour to send Sammy up via the teleporter. Sammy loves the teleporter. What can I say...he's such a suck...