Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Whether or not Weather

The Whittenden Pond Dam in Taunton, MA yesterday was deemed to be in tough shape, due to the recent unusual 11 to 16 inches of rainfall in the area. The 100+ year-old structure, which is privately owned, could possibly break apart, flooding the center, shutting down two state routes, and cause a good deal of damage. Business in the police cordoned-off area has been shut down two days already, and loss of income by businesses and individuals is impacting the evacuees and area.
Of course Sen. Ted Kennedy, Sen. John Kerry, Congr. Barney Frank, and Gov. Mitt Romney all made a media show, press conference out of it at their earliest convenience.

My personal tie to Taunton is it's my birthplace. My original family lived there for a time in my early childhood.
What I learned from the news today which disturbs me more than the thought of that dam breaking, is that there are approximately 2,900 dams in this state alone, all in danger of being overwhelmed with record-breaking rainfall. If one goes, so do more down the line, like dominoes! The state's dam inspector force has recently doubled from 4 to 8, so exactly how often are these structures being officially reported on?
The dam in question today was reported unsafe to the state by it's new private owners of the past 30 days. Of course the owners have to keep butt-saving safety-check sheets at intervals in a file, for liability purposes.

Who gets blamed for unpredictable natural occurrences? Usually, God, although the planet itself seems to have a punishment mind-set of it's own lately.

All of the weather issues encountered in the region, the country, and indeed the world, have been unprecedented this year. Nothing can be taken for granted as being a safe place. Clearly human-kind have been far too complacent that the surfacing make-over completed thus far is insignificant to the planet as a whole.

We have Wilma, another cat-5 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Is that 3 or 4 cat-5's there in a row now? It's such a surreal weather picture this season. Watching the report feels like a sci-fi movie! Is this now our on-going alter-reality? No mercy from the Earth which formed us?

"I'm sorry, the planet has decided you've been cutting too much timber, moved too many mountains, and displaced too much water, please try again after the next cycle of life..."

The Pakistan Earthquake toll is up to a mind-blowing 79,000 death toll. With this kind of natural catastrophe we certainly don't need to be adding to it with stupidity deaths! We need to build the next structures to withstand any force imaginable, and perhaps even float and fly. Moon base, here we come. Up there we'll only have to worry about getting pelted with asteroids...


At 8:30 PM, Blogger Milk Brain said...

don't forget the reavers...

At 8:46 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

Well spoken, Snaggle, my thoughts
The fact that this dam is 100+ years, is only the first clue that it might be structurely unsound...
But once again, it becomes a photo-op for the Commonwealth elect.
How typically political of them...
and how sad for everyone else.

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Neo said...

Snag - Good post. I read about Taunton the other day. You wonder why something that old wasn't upgraded eon's ago.

You're right, Mother Earth is definitely pissed.

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Snaggle Tooth said...

MB - I'll worry about reavers when I get to the outer ring territories! On the bc site, did you see the "reavers on board" bumper stickers spattered with blood? that one'll be a big seller...

Ellen, yes it's sad to see how quick they jump on free publicity, considering they've been denying infra-structure funding out-side of the Big-Dig project for over a decade now. A number of bridges have also begun coming undone, just started getting work done.

Neo, They're trying to pump out some water by pipe to another river section downstream today so they can get to the lower part of the dam-wall to work on it. Meanwhile, alot of people are twiddling thumbs with no income.
Maybe they can pump enough before more rain due in soon over-fills it again.
I just hope the planet doesn't continue to escalate the punishment.

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

Oh yeah, the Big Dig... forgot about that. How many millions did they finally pay out for that anyway? I read that they still had problems with leakage in the tunnel and had to shut it down for awhile. Is it finally finished?
Has it really helped with the traffic on 95? I remember what a nightmare it was to drive going from NH to the Cape on 95 years ago... the roads were too skinny and the drivers too reckless.

At 3:44 PM, Blogger Neo said...

Snag - Yeah well good luck. If Wilma hold to the coast after she's done with Florida, it could get ugly up there!

Sadly, I don't think Mother Nature is done just yet. This winter is gonna be hard.

Wait till the snow starts coming. Oh man this will get bad.

At 6:51 PM, Blogger Snaggle Tooth said...

The over $4 billion Big Dig Harbor tunnel project is done, will always leak a bit, and has freed up space from 95 around Boston onto 93 through and under Beantown, but the driver's are still pretty rude!
I avoid Boston on wheels like the plague, no matter how careful I am some one always cuts me off or honks at me for following proper driving rules! I still go around on 95, or in town through Soldiers Field Rd, it's safer.

Looks like Wilma may wreck spring break in Can-Cun for the kids this year- still a craps-toss where it'll be 3 days from now.

At 8:48 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

$4 Billion??? Holy Moley! Think how many people that would have fed.... better yet, have some of those old dams and bridges fixed.

At 10:21 PM, Blogger Milk Brain said...

considering the fact the *most* of the briges in western mass, are closed b/c tehy are unsafe and/or falling apart, and the ones left standing (if they haven't been done in the past 15-30 years- pre big dig) are near falling apart, i would say yes, ellen, the money could've been better spent elsewhere. the stae has finally been repaving many of the state raods in western mass this year. several which needed the repaving a long time ago. they've been doing a bunch of work on route 2 this year.. thank goodness it needed it.. and trust me it hasn't been an easy drive to and from boston because of it.


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