A blog about a first-time house owner learning to maintain his backyard, and thoughts about nature, science, history, and life.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

August 8-9 Flash Floods: Robert H. Treman State Park

My next stop on my Ithaca flash flood tour last Friday (after Freeville, Ithaca Falls, Downtown Ithaca, and Buttermilk Falls) was Treman State Park, a hidden gem just a few miles south of Ithaca.  I only checked out the lower part of the park, but I heard that upper portions of the gorge trail had been washed out.  The spillway across Enfield Creek was a little more of a raging torrent than a peaceful spillway on this day.  No wading, and also no driving.  Piles of downed branches had accumulated all over the lower park, but especially right near the spillway:

Treman Park is one of Ithaca's many gorges (not the best photo):

The debris was piled pretty much everywhere.  The Enfield Creek watershed must have had more rainfall than some of the other area creeks.  The creek had clearly spilled well out of its banks from Thursday night into Friday morning:

Debris was also accumulated along the creek's edge:

But also well above the creek:

Though the floodwaters had subsided quite a bit - given the debris line, it must have been running awfully high - the normally peaceful stream was still raging.

Not a good day to go for a swim:

In addition to the branches and tree trunks, mud was everywhere, and the clean-up was already underway:

I'm guessing that the wagon was there to help haul the tree trunks and branches away:

The Lower Falls, the smaller of two main waterfalls in the park (though there are several), were impressive:

You can see that the pool below the falls is nestled within a scenic gorge:

In contrast to the peaceful scene above, the falls:

All of the water was diverted around the swimming area:

No need for a lifeguard today:

Some more shots of the falls:

And some more of the debris:

I don't think anyone was planning to use the diving board:

On the way back to my car, I stopped to look at some flowers, which seemed to be enjoying all of the rainfall:

And the bees were enjoying the flowers.  In the face of flooding, life goes on.

I stopped on my way out to take photos of some debris near the park entrance.  This was a hundred or two hundred feet from the creek:

And before our last stop on the flash flood tour tomorrow, here's a video showing the awesome power of water:


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