Our Park is located on the fringe of where Sandy is predicted to touch. What has been interesting to me this weekend is watching various events, sporting and otherwise, across the U.S. that are not affected at all by this weather pattern. In your own bubble, it's easy to forget other things are happening in the world around you that might not be even close to what you are experiencing. I usually check out Chicago's weather to see what's coming in the next 24 hours. For now, that won't work! However, here is more background on our Park and how this hurricane may affect us.
Our name, Headwaters Park, comes from the fact that we are at the headwaters, or beginning, of Mill Creek. This creek, approximately 20 miles long, travels and winds through the city of Erie and surrounding suburbs before it ends at Presque Isle Bay. Almost 100 years ago, on this very site, the Flood of 1915 occured, tragically taking 36 lives and devastating the city.
|Aftermath of 1915 Flood - courtesy of Erie County Historical Society|
During a 3-hour period in early August, 1915, between 7 and 9 inches of rain fell from constant pounding bands of rain and storms. At the headwaters, which was farmland at the time, the rain had no where to go but downstream, carrying with it much of what was in its path. As the water built up, its strength grew. Finally, the water and debris found an obstacle - the 26th street bridge. After many attempts, using dynamite and other means to clear the path, the dam broke under sheer pressure. Reportedly, a wall of water 200 feet wide and 30/40 feet tall rushed through the city, causing intense damage and numerous deaths.
|Devastation from the 1915 Flood - Courtesy of Erie County Historical Society|
|Dam break at 26th street - Courtesy of Erie County Historical Society|
What might happen in the next few days here at Headwaters Park? I will try to document the progression and post it here. At this point, we have had 3 days of steady rain. It is soggy outside, the water is up a little and running quickly, but we are yet awaiting affects of the storm. These photos are actually taken with a night shot program, as it is quite dark outside, even in mid-morning.
|Rock weir with elevated water levels|