Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Weather

I have been watching my anipals out east and hoping they are fine in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Mom caught a bit of Hurricane Irene last year at BlogPaws, and was awestruck by the force of wind. Here in St. Louis we have wind, but it usually isn't prolonged and it involves some tree branch coming off a tree. What we do have are floods which can last for weeks adding a prolonged stress aspect.

Drawing from Lewis and Clark

St. Louis is at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. These 2 rivers carry the melted winter snow from the north which can cause flooding around April. Our cities and towns have built levee walls to protect them from the raging waters. One unfortunate aspect is that the levee systems create a channel forcing the waters down stream looking for somewhere to break loose.
Looking upstream, Missouri on your Left, Missippi on your right.

In 1993 a number of environmental factors came together and caused a 500 year flood. The effects were felt from at least as far west as Kansas City (Missouri River) and farther south along the Mississippi. The peak discharge in August 1993 was measured
at 485 million gallons per minute or 1,080,000 cubic feet per second—a rate sufficient to fill the old Busch Stadium about every 65 seconds.

Mom works at a manufacturing facility along the river just north of the Arch. There was a sand boil at the north property edge. Sand boils occur when water under pressure wells up through a bed of sand. The water looks like it is "boiling" up from the bed of sand, hence the name. (Wikipedia) Pretty scary stuff. They estimated that if that didn't hold (remember this was over 144 days!), the water would flow at least 2 miles inward from the levee and affect the ENTIRE city along the riverfront.

Obviously, the Great Flood of 1993 is something the residents of Missouri will never forget. However, we are greatful for the lives we were able to save, and the lives we have struggled to maintain and improve. That is the take home message - adversity is the brain child of perseverence.

Now, don't get mom started on the New Madrid Fault and the earthquake that will affect all of the Midwest!

Here are some pictures to give you perspective.

The Arch looking north under normal conditions. You can see Eads Bridge.

Eads Bridge, Flood 1993
Eads Bridge, 1993. Note the statue barely above the waters.

Eads Bridge in the winter. Note the statue in full.


  1. That was interesting. We remember that flood too because part of Wisconsin runs along the Mississippi River and it was a mess on the western side of the state. he he should we run a hide quick before we have the BIG EARTH QUAKE? M suspects the New Madrid will shake, rattle, and roll one of these years, and that won't be fun either as our buildings are not made to withstand anything like that.

    1. Hopefully we will be gone by then!!!!

  2. Wow! My human was just in St. Louis a month ago (she was a guest of Purina), so she was able to put your photos into perspective. We have earthquakes here, you have floods, the east coast has those hurricanes. I guess we all have something to worry about... luckily, I'm a kitty so I don't worry!

  3. We lived thru it on our side of the state - and yeah we'll never forget the flood of '93. Our mom flew from KC to St. L during that time and the sight was ...amazing... in a not-good way.

    BTW, have you been watching the History Channel show "The Men who Built America"? Great story on the building of the Eads bridge in it.

  4. Whoa! Geek stuff! MOL! We know you get tornados and we can't imagine living through one of those. BTW, instead of sand boils, down the Jersey Shone, we have gas bubbling up from the water. If that gas comes into someone's basement and there's a spark—KAPOW! The whole thing will blow.

  5. OMD such a lot to learn about here...JG will haf to explain it all to me :) BTWE, JG has actually been to the New Madrid Fault and thought the whole area was amazing. *snoogles* from @GizmoGeodog