Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ups and downs .... and ups

The lake level debate goes on while official statements (usually taken from news papers) and rumors (which seem to appear like magic with no discernible origin) vie for attention. As of this moment the official version is that dropping the lake to normal winter pool of 445 is a surety, 443 likely, and 440 a real possibility. This would be bad with a worst possible outcome being Kintala basically laying on her side in a foot or so of water.

Rumor has it 445 is a surety and 443 possible. But draining Carlyle, which after all isn't a very big lake and would support the shipping depth in the Mississippi for less than a week, is a move too irrational for even the Army Corps of Engineers. This would be good news, but the anarchist streak that runs deep in my soul chuckles at the idea of rationality on the part of any government body. It happens, but betting on it is a bad idea.

Also, the city of Carlyle is a small place in the middle of IL. It is supported by the fishermen, sailors and campers looking for some recreation (and a handful of some-day-cruisers using the lake as a fitting out and gearing up starting point). All of the above depend on the lake. Set against them is the money interests of international shipping companies, the mega-agricultural conglomerates, power plants and heavy equipment manufacturers. All of them depend on the river.

Guess which side has the most expensive lobbyists and a Rolodex full of Congress critter, Senator, and Governor's private cell-phone numbers?

Fortunately a drought is a bit like flood in that both tend to be slow moving disasters. The lake is still at 447+ and the official word right now is that nothing will happen for at least two weeks. It might rain or lakes up river might release some water. So the Corps is, for the moment, waiting and hoping that Mother nature lets them off the hook. (I'm rooting for Mother Nature as well.) We have some time yet to figure out what, if anything, we need to do go keep the Retirement Project out of the mud.

An idea that has come up is moving Kintala to the Mississippi river. (Follow the water my Son, follow the water.) We can still work and live on her on the weekends and, when the time comes, just head south. The down side is leaving Boulder, living on the river, and eventually having to sail down The Big Muddy. I have no real desire to be a river sailor. In fact, after more than a decade of flying up and down the Mississippi, once we head out I don't really want to see this river again. (Well, except when we are visiting Daughters and Sons-in-Law and Grand kids.) Of course the Mississippi is only about 9 feet deep itself - hence the call for Carlyle water. Nine feet is about what we are floating in even as I type.  Moving to the river might not gain us anything, so to speak.

Or the house could sell soon. Which would put money in the bank to move the boat to big water. Which is the whole idea anyway.

That would be the best.

Or maybe it will be raining when we sell the house?

Now that would really be the best.

BREAKING NEWS: It has just been reported that the Corps will not be releasing water from the flood control lakes to support shipping on the Mississippi. So...

My heartfelt apology for suggesting that they would surely go where the money demanded, and...

I still hope it starts raining soon!

1 comment:

Bill K said...

This is just my opinion, I would go down the Tenn-Tom not the Mississippi.

Bill Kelleher