Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Lake Monroe flooding

Monday, May 9th, 2011

As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve had a lot of rain this spring. So much so now that some areas are experiencing flooding. In particular, Lake Monroe reached nearly 20 feet above normal pool level, setting a new all-time record. Normal pool is 538 feet; the lake level went as high as 557.28 feet. Despite widening the floodgates, the lake overflowed the emergency dam and flooded Valley Mission Road (among others), which is a common cycling road. According to the local newspaper, Valley Mission Road is being washed away by the flooding.

I headed out late last week for a ride and decided to check out the flooding, though not in the area described above. I thought I’d check a couple of other spots.

On my way there, I saw a pond that is normally fairly small. It’s noticeably bigger than usual.


A closer look showed quite a few turtles sunning themselves on logs, including a couple of rather large snapping turtles (though I was not able to get a good shot of them).


After a while, I was at Moore’s Creek State Recreation Area, on Lake Monroe. Below you can see a lamp post that’s partially under water.


This little road normally goes through to a picnic shelter and a popular fishing area.


Here’s the picnic shelter.


This sign gives you a good idea of how much higher the water is than usual. The sign reads “Road ends in water” 300-700 feet, but yet the water is just a few feet behind the sign. This is at a boat ramp.


This next shot is not relevant to the flooding, but I was inspired by Alfred Stieglitz’s “Equivalents” series, which we studied in my photography class.


I rode a bit more …



And eventually made my way over to Moore’s Creek Road, where I expected to see some more flooding.


I thought I would be able to make my way over to Swartz Ridge road and climb up that way, but I hit flooding sooner than I expected. I couldn’t even make it to Swartz Ridge.



I thought about trying to cross the water, but it looked like it was at least knee deep, probably deeper than that. I decided to turn back.




I’ve seen this barn several times but never got a satisfactory photo of it before.


The trees and grass look so lush and green.


For the most part, the creeks didn’t seem overly deep. I guess most of the water had already rushed down to the lake by this time.


Sometime after my visit, the lake levels began to get lower. Hopefully the flooding will subside soon. I’ve read about a number of other roads being underwater. I haven’t heard about much or any damage to homes yet, but newspaper coverage has been a bit spotty. I do know that many local cycling routes are affected.


5 Responses to “Lake Monroe flooding”

  1. Bill Lambert Says:

    You guys must be getting hammered with rain. We’ve got only very minor flooding here. I hope you folks dry out soon. It is nice to see the green again, isn’t it?

  2. Pondero Says:

    That looks like a prime portage opportunity to empty roads. It wouldn’t take long for knees and below to dry out, would it? I only mention this because I saw a recent ride report in which a river portage was required. It changed my perspective.

  3. Apertome Says:

    I’m not against portaging, I’ve done it plenty of times before, but this was pretty deep. When I say at least knee deep, it may have been waist deep or deeper, it was hard to tell, and I didn’t really care to find out. I already know what’s on the other side, so aside from possibly seeing the water level on the other side, I wouldn’t have really gained much. At this point it was pretty clear that the area I hoped to see was inaccessible, anyway.

  4. Chnadra Says:

    Cool turtles!
    Peace 🙂

  5. Chandra Says:

    Cool turtles!
    Peace 🙂

    PS. Michael – sorry about the typo in my earlier comment!

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