Cascading Waters can be found at 135 Olean Street on the eastern edge of Worcester's northwest parklands, the Cascades. The Cascades are 350 acres of park and conservation lands along the borders of Worcester, Paxton, and Holden, Massachusetts. Home to countless species of plants and animals, the Cascades are open to passive recreation year-round.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Flood Watch!

Already over 0.28" of rain have been recorded here at the Lodge and according to the weather forecast we haven't even begun to see the rain headed our way tonight!

2-3" of rain, with a little more tomorrow. Some chance of limited convection allowing local instances of up to 4".

Let me put this in perspective for you. When you build a parking lot or a subdivision and need to design the drainage system, you are required to design to handle a major rain event of 1" in a short stretch. Welcome to the new universe! Multiply that bad boy by 2x or 3x or more! In other words we are talking a rainstorm that many areas were simply never designed to handle.

Want to know a spooky secret? This isn't unusual anymore campers. The number of times the Worcester DPW needed to use flood diversion once was fairly rare. Now they do it at least annually. The guys who manage the pipes for us already know our world operates differently whether or not the regulations have caught up with that reality or the public has yet to grasp fully our new situation.

Want to know something else spooky? Many years ago I sat at a conference on the local impacts of climate change and someone asked what we ought to expect to see. The answer was more extremes. More long dry periods broken up by heavier flooding than used to be the case. Time is the ultimate validator of theory and I will say that our time here at the Lodge certainly gives credence to those ideas. More so the flooding until recent. Now both halves of the theory can be argued to be in play.

Since a baseline is useful in measuring impacts know that as of 1 pm the Cascades Brook was flowing at 1.88". Let's see how high that gets! Buckle in!

UPDATE: 6:00pm Cascades Brook depth is 3.36", up from 1.88" at 1:00pm

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