Ramble On

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Big Water on Beaver Run

The Potomac River flows near the house in Alexandria - we can walk down to the river on a leisurely stroll if we wanted, and I drive by the tidal part of it and up through the gorge on my daily commute.  It serves as a connection from the Alexandria house to Hawksbill Cabin, because you can trace the path of the water here in the Potomac back through the Shenandoah River, to the South Branch, to Hawksbill Creek in Luray, to the Little Hawksbill Creek, and finally to Beaver Run, which forms one of our property lines as we look out across the hollow from the brick terrace at Hawksbill Cabin.

There is so much water in the Potomac though - and that conceals just how much might have fallen upstream, and the challenges and damage that those storms can bring.  That's the case with the five-inch rainfall that caused the high water on the Hawksbill I wrote about on Monday, it was a real challenge to the little Beaver Run stream to drain the hills and hollows it runs through out in Stanley.

We were out there for one of these storms, which I posted about here:  http://hawksbillcabin.blogspot.com/2010/03/weekend-rains.html; we just heard about the storm last Friday and then we saw the aftermath.

By the time we arrived on Saturday morning, our friend Mickey had already been out to plow the driveway, collecting all the gravel that had washed down into the road.  We've got plans for some remedies to mitigate the problems we are having with the driveway and I will post about them soon.   But there were lingering signs of how high the water actually got this time.

The first one was a log that had floated up out of the stream bed and lay by the side of the road, where the creek runs under a little bridge.  Then, as we looked closer, we could see how the flows had washed away some of the ground around the bridge and its rock footers.

It is part of cabin lore, and probably a subject for a future post, but the bridge has washed out before during a hurricane in the early 1990's - both Sally and Dan and Steve and Noelle have told us about that, and someday I'd like to get a scan of the photos they have for the blog.

The bridge was reengineered after that and is a much sturdier structure - but I don't know how many of these strong storms it can take - and that's the reason I'm calling VDOT, hopefully we'll get them out soon for a look so they can assess any potential damage.

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