Sunday, August 26, 2007

Drought FAQs

Everybody keeps asking how the drought is going to affect the Rebel Rivers trip this fall. Here are most common questions (and the answers).

1. What are the rivers really like right now (the ones that we float)?

ANSWER: Depends on which type of river. The dam controlled ones are up and down. Here's the Duck River just below Normany Dam.

Rebel Rivers at the Duck River, Hopkins Bridge gauging station.

The free-flowing rivers are not up and down. They are way down. Here's the reading from the Piney River...

The triangles chart the 75-year norm.

Rebel Rivers at the Piney River, Vernon Bridge gauging station.

2. What are we going to do on November 3?

ANSWER: November 3 is a long way away.

3. If it does rain between now and November 3, will it fix everything?

ANSWER: Probably. But it needs to rain a lot, and it can't be all at the end. September is one of the driest months, so we could have "normal" rainfall and still have a problem. We're not likely to have long periods of steady rain. Short, hard rains will runoff quickly, so even if it adds flow the river is likely to be brown and muddy.

4. What if it doesn't rain?

ANSWER: We'll still have options. There are some rivers that are not seasonal at all, and there are downstream sections of rivers that can be floated year-round, too. Even during a drought.

Here are some sections of Middle Tennessee rivers that we consider "dry weather" floats....

Elk River - Garner Ford Rd. to Old Dam Ford
Lower Buffalo River (spring fed)
Caney Fork (completely dam dependent)
Duck River just below Normandy Dam/Cortner Mill (non-power generating, spillway always running)
Red River near Port Royal (mostly pools)
Green River (see RRCC Spring 2007)
Roaring Fork from "The Boils" down

On the bright side, we'll have no trouble finding a gravel bar like we did on the Green River

5. That picture of a dried up river you posted last month really makes me thirtsy. Are we going to have a meeting at Brown's soon?

ANSWER: There are two RRCC meetings currently scheduled at Brown's. The first will be a pre-trip meeting Sunday, September 30, on the eve of the effective date of the "Non-Smoker Protection Act". It will be like the Mardi Gras of the Metro Nashville smoking ban. We will also have a post-trip meeting Saturday, November 10 because Multi-Bob Delevante is playing a gig at Brown's that night.


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