Monday, September 22, 2008

Flooding in Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is near and dear to me. It was the place I did my masters thesis research at and one of my favorite places on earth. All of the recent wet weather in Texas has generally turned the state pretty soggy, but now, of all places, Big Bend is experiencing some flooding! From the National Parks Traveler website (picture is also from NPT):

"...Heavy rains in northern Mexico and western Texas during the past several weeks have resulted in flooding along the Rio Grande, which forms the park's southern boundary for 118 miles. At risk are park facilities near the river, the entire wild population of an endangered species of fish, and historic resources—along with the upcoming visitor season in these lower elevation areas of the park, which normally runs from fall to spring.......

At Rio Grande Village, where flood stage is 13.0 feet, the river crested on Sunday, September 21, at 24.78 feet. At 20 feet, flooding of the campground begins to occur, and at 25 feet, major flooding of the campground and store are a threat. Readings on the USGS gauge Monday morning stood at 24.38 feet, and the river is predicted to fall slowly during the rest of the week, although it is expected to remain above flood stage for the rest of the month.......

At Castolon, upstream from Rio Grande Village, flood stage is 15.0 feet, and major flooding of Cottonwood Campground and area roads occurs when the river reaches 19.0 feet. The Rio Grande crested at 23.1 feet on Saturday, September 20, and had begun a slow fall to 22.21 feet Monday morning. The river is still expected to be above flood stage at the end of this week.

Any additional rainfall in this vast watershed over the next few weeks could have major impacts on this situation, but the other wild card is an extensive levee system upstream from the park, near the town of Presidio. The National Weather Service reported this morning that water was topping the levees at the southern end of the Presidio levee system. Any levee breaches or failures could cause dramatic changes to the currently forecast river levels....."

Read the entire National Parks Traveler article here.

Check out the daily report for today's river levels.

Just think of all that erosion!!! things to find :)


Anonymous said...

I wish I had time to get down there! I did some prospecting with Bill around the Post area after Lubbock's 9 inch downpour...within an hour of prospecting we had a couple of days worth of excavating to do. I may have to cancel going home for Thanksgiving and divert to BBNP for that week!

ReBecca Hunt-Foster said...

I hear you. I am going to try and go down this winter with some folks. Should be fun! Hope you can get down there. We have alot of work to do in out quarry here right now to keep us busy till the weather runs us off.