December Monsoon 2015

 

WHAT a wet weekend, there’s water all around.

We tend to look at such events through the keyhole of self-interest: focussed on the impacts of flows and our fishing. But when you ponder the loss of life, the damage to property, and the upheaval this storm has created through such a large portion of our home territory, it brings things into context. Our thoughts go out to all of those affected from Texas to Missouri, and please be careful on those river crossings.

Rivers are up all around us, checking the USGS gauges across the state, well there is only a small percentage of rivers not experiencing flooding across Arkansas, Missouri and eastern Oklahoma.

But while a lot of rivers are well up in flood, they aren’t hitting historic highs, or even matching 2008 flood levels _ and while we don’t usually get this much rain in December, we have been through it before.

Deluges like this are the reason the White River system was built, to take a goodly portion of run off and trap it behind the dams for managed releases later, when the natural run river go down. This was the reason for the high flows after the summer rains through August & September.

Beaver right now has the biggest concern, with flood gates letting loose 83,000 cfs the lake is over the top of flood pool and still climbing. Table Rock is letting loose 53,000 cfs, while Bull Shoals with its huge capacity to store flood water is only running a unit and a half. Bull is the bucket to catch the water from above. 

Its way too early to tell how this is going to sort out, certainly there is no shortage of hydro electricity to sell once it gets cold. Part of the equation of course is what else is this wet El Nino winter going to send our way