Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Monday, May 23, 2011

Potomac Is Flooding

On Sunday I received an e-mail from rowing historian Bill Lanouette, specialist on the professional Biglin Brothers. Bill had read my entry how I had lost my nice ‘Boater’ and now he very generously offered me his old, vintage straw hat, which did not fit him anymore. He couldn’t remember which size it is, and he has it down at his club, the Potomac Boat Club. Bill promised to take a look at the hat size, but it’s not that easy right now. He writes:

“[…] but it won't be until later next week or weekend because the Potomac is flooding this weekend and I won't be visiting the boathouse. […] For the third time in two months the Potomac is above flood stage. If you've been to the Potomac Boat Club, this means water is over the ramps and docks and seeping into the first-floor boat bay. These ramps normally slant down to the float and the river, but in April and again this weekend they are themselves floating. Driftwood and other debris plus fast and swirling current are all hazards.

Normally, the river is measured at a level of 2.5 to 3.5 feet. Small boats are advised to stop rowing above 5 feet. Flood stage (picture above on top) is 10 feet, and in this and the previous floods the level reached 12 feet, so about 9 feet above normal flow.”

Well, the photograph says it all, Bill. I do hope everything goes back to normal as soon as possible. Indeed, the weather has been strange this spring…

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