Hurricane Matthew caused a lot of havoc throughout the state but, fortunately, most of the interior of the state just had to deal with wind and rain. Power loss was minimal and downed trees were far less than feared. It didn't seem like that much rain over the past two days. With the bulk of the storm well to the North, Andrew headed to the property intending to simply drop off a new pallet near the lake. The first sign of weather was the tarp on the table had been blown off despite pretty heavy anchors on top.
Once he rounded the bend below the table it was clear that a simple task was going to be a little harder than expected. A large oak had fallen across the net lanes directly between the poles for Net 15. No other trees, including the dead snags we would expect to be brought down, had succumbed. Just some smaller branches and leaves scattered about.
Just past the tree one of the educational docks was nearly engulfed. During a dry season the river bed is 8 feet below this deck.
The Closed sign out front was not just window dressing. The river was indeed flowing over the banks...and straight toward the center of the park.
The pallet would never reach its intended destination. The water was backed up beyond Net 9 and close to Net 14. That leaves a total of 9 nets now out of the picture for banding tomorrow and this is prime territory for Fall birds. Sigh.
Nets 16 and 17 might be reachable from another angle. Will have to consider carving a path through the woods to get around the pools.
Heading back to the car Andrew got one last look at the swollen river as it flowed under 414. The water came up high enough to flood back into the tram tunnel that runs under the highway making it impassable for guests even if they were allowed inside the park.
Here at Lake Lotus we consider our nets half-full and hope for the best. The water is bound to drop some overnight. It is just a question of how much? Cold front is on the way. Bringing with it a LOT of migrants. Thanks for nothing, Matthew.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, October 9th.
All nets will be opened by 6:55 A.M.