The Chesapeake Bay news feed just figured out that the Chesapeake Bay's problems from Hurricane Florence didn't end when the rain did:
|Debris at Conowingo Dam|
Photo by MDDNR
Baltimore Sun: Florence has moved on, but high waters still may send torrent of pollution to Chesapeake
Hurricane Florence has moved on, but the storm is nonetheless forecast to deliver another potentially damaging slug of floodwaters and pollution to the Chesapeake Bay over the next few days.
Rising waters on the Susquehanna River are expected to crest Thursday night, prompting the operator of the Conowingo Dam to again open floodgates that allow sediment, nutrient pollution and trash flowing down from Pennsylvania to reach the Chesapeake Bay. Exelon Corp. has already collected three times more debris from the rim of the dam over the past nine months than it normally does over an entire year.
Scientists and bay advocates say the latest surge could be enough to ensure that the estuary’s improving health takes a hit. The region’s second-rainiest summer on record has already washed unusual amounts of pollution and debris into the bay at a time when freshwater flows into its waterways are normally at their lowest.
|Putting that into perspective|
From the Annapolis Crapital Gazette: Dam debris keeps coming as Conowingo officials are set to open gates ThursdayWe were gone for the advent and passing of Florence, but everything at home survived fine. The marina pulled my boat out of the slip in an abundance of caution, but at least I got the hull pressure washed.
On Thursday, seven to 10 gates of the dam are scheduled to be opened again to relieve pressure from the remnants of Hurricane Florence.
Some 200,000 cubic feet of water per second are expected to flow through the dam Thursday night.
Aside from the potential environmental damage wrought by the influx of silt-laden fresh water from the Susquehanna River, above the dam the debris is a hazard for boats on the water and a frustrating chore for marinas along the bay and its tributaries.
Frank Carver, captain of Loosen Up charters out of Deale, said he had not seen a lot of detritus floating in the past few days but saw a lot accumulating around Thomas Point Wednesday.
“But two months ago, that was the worst I have ever seen in my 50 years on the bay,” he said. His charter company usually takes two trips a day, shoving off before dawn and again after lunch. At the end of July he had to cancel fully booked trips.
But floating debris is no joke; Pete lost an engine to a debris strike two years ago.