f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

January 12, 2006

too dam personal

Filed under: pre-06-2006,Schenectady Synecdoche — David Giacalone @ 7:20 pm


The Gilboa Dam, at the Schoharie Reservoir in Schoharie County NY, is


about 60 miles west of my home in Schenectady. The dam is owned by


the distant City of New York, and supplies about 16% of the NYC’s water.


For the past few months, I’ve been vaguely aware that a lot of people are


worried the 1927 Dam might fail, causing massive damage along its down-


stream watershed on the Schoharie Creek. In December, Sen. Chuck


Schumer urged NYC to speed up its repairs to the dam, and local Cong.


Mike McNulty joined Sens. Clinton and Schumer in asking the Army Corps


of Engineers to help get the job done quickly and right.



None of this focused my attention on that Dam. It’s on the Schoarie Creek,


and my backyard in the Schenectady Stockade is on the Mohawk River.


However, yesterday, a local tv news show made a report that did get me


focused (WRGB/CBS-Ch6 “Emergency plans for Gilboa dam,” Jan. 12,


2006):



Schenectady’s Stockade is about 60 miles from the Gilboa Dam


but if it were to fail it is not just the people in Schoharie County


who would be affected. Emergency officials in Schenectady


County are keeping a close eye on the aging Dam. If something


were to happen residents of the Stockade would only have 10 hours


to get out. County Emergency Management Coordinator, Bill Van


Hoesen . . . says the consequences if it did happen are serious.



spiltWine



It was recently revealed that the 80 year old Gilboa Dam was not up


to current safety standards. Water from the dam flows north from the


Schoharie Creek into the Mohawk River which along with spring thaws


and ice jams, makes the Stockade prone to flooding. Experts say that


if the Gilboa Dam does burst, [20] billions of gallons of water would head


straight for Schenectady flooding the streets of Front, Erie, and Broadway.



The water could even rise to nearly 240 feet above sea level, where it was


in 1914 [the highest on record; flood stage is about 212 feet]. Under the


emergency plan, though, Assistant Fire Chief Mike Dellarocco would go


door to door evacuate residents.


Okay, now I’m interested. I’m leaving in a few minutes for a Stockade Association


Meeting, where I hope to learn more. The tv reporters said that parts of the


Stockade — a Historic District of ancient homes — might be irretrievably lost. My


home is on the block that borders the River. Sometimes, one’s perspective can


change with just a tiny little fact or two. (Something a good judge and lawyer


should always keep in mind.)












 


river flood


a “For Sale” sign


on a cottage roof





George Swede from Almost Unseen





the flood’s wake—
driftwood bison
and dinosaurs



Barry George from Haiku Harvest (Jan-Feb 2003)











flood damage —


strolling


our new riparian beach



dagosan


 

dinner party
glancing up from grace
to the flood mark on the wall

 

wind and rain
the hand I reach for
in the dark

 

 

 

shimmering pines
a taste of the mountain
from your cupped hands

 

 

 

 

bitter wind …
the hand that cups the flame
aglow

 

 

 

snowed in
the wedding-ring quilt
lumpy with children

Winter night:
a spark between the tweeds
of strangers

 

 

 

 

mops and pails–

the wren goes on singing

with straw in its beak

 

 

 

Peggy LylesTo Hear the Rain (2002)

“mops and pails–” Frogpond XXVIII:2 (2005)

spiltBucketG

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