Thursday, September 04, 2008

Everglades Canals Are Swollen
From Tropical Storm Fay

The canals along Alligator Alley through the Everglades are more filled with water than I have seen them. Tropical storm Fay crossed and re-crossed the state at a slow 12 miles an hour, flooding some areas. Now the River of Grass is doing its job – draining the excess into the ocean.

You can see how the water comes all the way up the boat ramp to the parking lot at this rest area along highway 75. The other photos also were taken there. These canals would normally would have visible sides, rather than spilling into the grasslands. One shot, taken out the car window, shows standing water in the highway media, almost enough to be a canal in itself. On other drives, the median has been dry.

The Everglades usually appears as a dry sea of long grasses, with an occasional island of trees popping out here and there. One knows that there is water under the grasses, a swampy and complex ecosystem. I have rarely seen that water. Now, however, lakes have formed on the surface in a few places.

The magnitude of the flat grassy swamp is as awe-inspiring, in its way, as the Grand Canyon, the glaciers of Alaska, or the desert stretches surrounding Death Valley, California. Even this vast river or bay area outside Bradenton fills me with wonder at the beauty of Florida. I love this place.

Three more storms are lining up in the Atlantic. Hannah is expected to make landfall in the Carolina. It will skim the east coast of Florida. I do not expect much water from that. Josephine is dissipating off the coast of Africa.

Ike is the one to watch. Landfall is expected early next week. The hurricane meteorologists are not sure of Ike’s path. Already a cat(egory) 4, Ike will blow through the Bahamas, leaving destruction in its wake. Whether this storm will land in south Florida, bump northward along the east coast, or rush into the Gulf of Mexico is not known. If Ike enters the gulf, the storm will be Somebody Else’s Problem but could do great harm elsewhere in the United States or Mexico.


Sylvia K said...

Your photos are great! It is a scary season to be sure. I just posted pictures that a friend sent me from Mississippi during the 2005storm season. They surely do remind us of just how small and insignificant we really are.

robin andrea said...

Thank you for stopping by the Dharma Bums and leaving a comment. I like reading about the Everglades. I've never been to Florida, but I read a few Florida blogs and have come to "know" the place through their eyes. It's quite beautiful.

I see that you are in communication and media in education. I did that too for many years, assistant director of student media at a California university. I took early retirement in 2004.