Last year it was Irene. This year, it's Sandy. And we won't even talk about the havoc that Kathy or Sue have wrought...
I'm speaking of hurricanes of course, what on earth would make you think otherwise?
I've finally got the mast down, at Bridges Marina in Port Dover and I'm ready to head for the Erie Canal, after a stop in Port Colborne - another place with some great memories from past visits.
However, just about everyone I know, plus everyone on Facebook, and quite a few from this blog, have emailed, phoned or otherwise made a point of telling me about Hurricane Sandy (and thank you for your concern), now coming up on the Bahamas and predicted to hit the US east coast next week....just coincidentally coming up to bash the Erie Canal.
Last year, Irene pretty much totaled the canal - it tore out two entire locks, and in some places dredged entirely new channels. The rushing waters at some points were more than 20 feet above normal - even damaging bridge structures well above the water. These pictures from Tug 44's website show the carnage.
|A nice closeup of the dam at E-11, shows the ribs are sprung and bent backwards. This dam is wrecked. photos from http://www.tug44.org/flood/hurricane-irene-2011/.|
|This photo shows a view of Erie
Canal Lock E-10. The foreground was the parking lot, but now it has
become a new channel of the Mohawk River. The white thing in the water
is all that remains of the 100 year old Power House. The raging torrent
scoured out the foundation and the 2 story masonry building collapsed
into the hole.
photos from http://www.tug44.org/flood/hurricane-irene-2011/.|
Amazingly, the State of New York completed the repairs over the winter and opened for the 2012 season on time. That was an astounding feat of work, one most people said couldn't be done.
This year, we have Sandy coming up the coast just in time to meet me on the Erie Canal - maybe, since she's clearly still considering it if the weather reports can be believed.
Now I don't usually object to a woman coming to meet me at the boat, say at someplace nice like Fairport, for lunch, but Sandy will likely have other plans. She may, in fact, prevent me from going south this winter if she floods the locks the way Irene did last year.
It appears though that the Canal Corp has learned a lesson from last year and are already prepping the system for high water, and Sandy, like most women, isn't sure just where she's going....oh oh, now I've done it, haven't I? I"m watching the hurricane monitoring site almost on an hourly basis, hoping Sandy will decide on an Atlantic cruise rather than upstate New York.
Here's what Sandy's current plans are...notice the Tuesday storm centre, just to the east of the eastern terminus of the Erie Canal.
|Notice the Wednesday center, right up just about on the east end of the canal.....oh my!|
The second map shows the likeliehood of 34 mph plus winds on the projected storm path - in other words, on the Erie Canal region. As of Friday night, that's anywhere from 10 - 30%. If Sandy's current forecast bears out, that will very shortly be 80 - 90% and that green colour will be purple, or 100%. I have no idea what colour I'll be at that point...
So, any suggestions on what I should do here? Go west to the canal, stay put on Lake Erie, hire a truck and avoid this mess....buy a vowel maybe? Wait! I've got the solution - I'll buy an RV and head for New Mexico - they never have hurricanes there and it's warm....of course, they've got tornadoes, which are notorious for attacking aluminum cans on wheels.....just ask any trailer park resident.
On the brighter side, the people I've met so far here in Port Dover have been great. Brian, who reads this blog religiously - ok, maybe not quite that fastidiously - dropped by the dock this morning with a cup of Timmie's - bless you my friend....and invited me to breakfast with fellow sailor Hillary - that would be as in the guy who climbed Mount Everest, and not as in Clinton. You can check out Brian's blog here: Dock Six Chronicles.
Later on, I spent several pleasant hours chatting with Liam - hard to believe we actually got the mast down on the deck today with all the fun we had, but we did. I can see I'll be returning to Port Dover in the future.
Ok, that's it for today....have a great weekend everyone.