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- Colorado flooding... canoe accident. - plainsman - Sep-19-13 12:45 AM
Flood Waters Nothing To Mess With|
Posted by: wildernesswebb on Sep-19-13 10:08 AM (EST)
Debris, fresh strainers, and deceptively powerful water when the CFS rises to such a degree. Can be scary stuff. Had a big rainfall, and rise mid trip once this summer on the Current. When you see logs and trees floating down with you in water the color of chocolate milk it really gets your attention!
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Posted by: pblanc on Sep-19-13 10:30 AM (EST)
The video really didn't show any whitewater, despite the narration. Just moving flat water, but moving at probably 7+ mph.
In a stream bed unaccustomed to seeing that kind of volume the water is typically up in the trees and you have little time to maneuver around them or islands.
Often a paddler or paddlers is back paddling and back ferrying to try to gain time and floating logs and even trees have a way of getting in front of you and suddenly hanging up, or even suddenly rising up out of the water right in front of you.
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Glad they were safely rescued|
Posted by: puffingin on Sep-19-13 10:43 AM (EST)
Quite a well-coordinated effort. I wonder who picks up the bill for the rescue?
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Posted by: thebob.com on Sep-19-13 1:35 PM (EST)
Sometimes the buffoons who go out on rivers when they are in extreme flood stage die from a combination of non-existent boating skills, poor decision making skills, a lack of self control, and an alcohol overload.
Some people have to learn the hard way...........
Some get lucky; fall in it & come out smelling like a rose.
Often someone has to put their life at risk to rescue the buffoons.
God often shows a lot of patience towards buffoons, and buffonism.
Never have figured that out?
I just write it off as him/her "working in mysterious ways".
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Posted by: pblanc on Sep-20-13 8:21 AM (EST)
I don't anymore, but I have been one of those buffoons with poor decision making skills who have ventured unto rivers in extreme flood stage in the past.
I would like to believe that I was spared so as to be around to cheese you off in later life, Bob.
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Buffonism & buffoons|
Posted by: thebob.com on Sep-20-13 12:42 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Sep-20-13 1:07 PM EST --
Pete, I don't think you qualify for membership in the buffoon category.
You've forgotten more about paddling (having entered the senior citizen stage in life, brain cells dying, memory loss starting), than the typical buffoon will ever learn in their lifetime.
And I have a hard time believing that you would consider putting in on a river in extreme flood stage, after chugging 12 Foster Lagers. Buffoons wouldn't give it a thought.
I remember reading a recent story about a couple of buffons in the northeast. They closed down a bar, and almost immediately put in on a flooded river. Paid the price; I believe one or both drowned. They make the cut; they qualifed as buffoons!
Glad you're still around Pete.
Hopefully, you have 1 or 2 more years of decent paddling left in you; you cheesy old fart!
I will continue to "act" as if your paltry attempts at aggravation are really firing me up.
Ramblin' Jack told me at the last Rendezvous that I needed to be kinder to you.
He thought you were starting to have some feelings of inadequacy.
He also said you weren't near as difficult to keep up with as you used to be; he thought you were "slowing down", "losing a step".
Remember, that's Ramblin' Jack talking......
I'm the one trying to be kinder, and help to improve your low self image........poor old thing!
See you in October.
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Posted by: pblanc on Sep-20-13 1:09 PM (EST)
Two of the worst swims I ever took occurred the same day on the normally fairly tame Class II+ Conasauga River in southern TN/northern GA. The river was flood swollen out of its banks and I was alone having run a bicycle shuttle. I was on that river because I thought everything else in the area would be too high. I was alone because I could not find anyone foolish enough to paddle with me that day.
I estimated the current was flowing about 8+ miles per hour, it was chocolate brown, and pretty soon I saw whole trees (not logs) heading downstream along with me and passing me, since I was mostly back paddling for all I was worth. It flashed across my mind that maybe this wasn't such a bright idea, but with the water up and flowing briskly through the trees that ordinarily were up out of the stream bed, trying to thread through the obstacle course they created in order to get off did not seem like such a good option either.
The first swim out of my canoe was at a ledge which is ordinarily an easy Class II but which was a wicked river-wide hydraulic at that level. All landmarks in the approach to this rapid were basically gone so I was in it before I knew it. Once swimming with a flooded boat, trying to scout a place well downstream that was sufficiently free of trees to get the boat out of the current was immensely more difficult, since my perspective was now about 6 inches above water level, at best, and I had an upside-down canoe blocking my view. I probably went downstream over a mile before I could get out of the current.
At this point, if I had brought along any Fosters I would surely have consumed it. Sadly, I had not so my only options were to walk to the take out were I had stashed a bicycle, or get back in the boat. Of these two options, the first was infinitely the wiser so I chose the second.
I knew there was only one more rapid that would not be totally washed out between me and the take out. That rapid is typically a Class III- called "The Falls" and is usually apparent from well upstream due to a big central rock standing about 5 feet above river level. I figured I would go downstream as slowly as possible and as soon as I spotted the rock, I would make a beeline for the shore, trees be damned.
Well, there was no rock. The top of it was just underwater and created a little hump in the chocolate colored water that I spotted just before I went over the top of it. The hole behind it was immense but it did not look retentive so I decided I would tuck up into the hull and try to hang out until the boat flushed free, then try to roll up. I got thrashed about so violently that I was torn out of my outfitting almost immediately so I found myself swimming again.
The second swim was much like the first only longer and worse and I was already pretty tired out.
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It has been said|
Posted by: pgeorg on Sep-20-13 2:10 PM (EST)
that good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement.
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Flood Stage Paddling|
Posted by: jimyaker on Sep-20-13 11:30 AM (EST)
The threshold should be very high for thinking about paddling a flood stage river. You need real whitewater skills to make eddies, ferries, etc. You need to be able to roll (think bombproof combat roll in Class III, NOT pool roll). And you need to know the river well.
If you come out of your boat, all bets are off. The shore is gone, so you end up swimming through the trees, the currents will often separate you from your boat and gear, your buddies may be at the limits of their skills and may not be able to assist you, and the features change (new holes, giant whirlpools, etc).
A couple of friends got on what is normally a Class II at flood stage and ended up in Class IV and Class V whitewater with holes the size of a bus. They came away with a good story, but it doesn't always end well...
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Oil spills, raw sewage, etc.|
Posted by: plainsman on Sep-21-13 11:59 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Sep-21-13 12:14 PM EST --
The crest of the flood has reached central Nebraska, and it is quite a sight, and smell. At least 19,000 gallons of oil were spilled into it, probably more though. Last I heard they had only inspected 10% of the possibly breached wells, and had already found 10 wells leaking. The water has washed through feedlots, city sewage etc, and is now flowing at 20,000+ cfs through river channels that have been dry for a couple of years at least.
There was a huge coordinated effort to re-open long closed canals to reservoirs and irrigation pits to capture this water here in Nebraska. The idea was to use it to recharge the Ogallala Aquifer, which we desperately need. Now that everyone has seen, and smelled, how filthy this water is there seems to be somewhat of a change of heart, i.e. we should have just let it pass on through to the Missouri. I think the aquifer will filter it, but maybe I'm wrong. I do know it is quite a mess and it is yet to be seen what the effect on our lakes and wildlife will be.
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