January 26, 2010
Many of the local streams and creeks have started to recede and the James crested Tuesday morning. But what is the impact of all of this flooding?
Moore's Creek, usually a small, winding stream making its way to the Rivanna River, returning more towards normal form on Tuesday. Monday was a much different story, the water level was about 6 feet higher. That's the trend across much of Central Virginia the waters are beginning to reside, which makes the damage more visible.
Upper James Riverkeeper, Dave Sligh says, you'll see in the river, once it goes back down and in a lot of the streams that there has been an enormous amount of wash out." The banks of the streams now look more like cliffs as the rain runoff and flooding has torn small plants and dirt away from the land. "We are washing millions and millions of pounds of dirt down this river right now. That's going to stop somewhere, that's going to be settling out and covering the bottom and that's a problem." says Sligh.
We can help lessen the impact of future flooding by managing the surrounding land. Sligh says, "As we develop, as we create more communities, we have to use smart techniques to keep all of that water from going off the land quickly." Using rain garden, rain barrels, and planting native plants along river banks helps to limit the impact of heavy rain and flooding.
Sligh says, "Floods are natural, they will happen. We don't control the weather but we can lessen our impact on the way that they affect us."