The tide is rising...
Evan and I just got back from downtown. We went to see the high tide, which is 1 to 1.5 feet above average. Accompanied by heavy rain, it's the cause of the 'coastal flood warning' that's been in effect from Tuesday morning, and will remain in effect through Thursday morn.
After crossing the drawbridge into the city, we were immediately confronted by a massive puddle, at least 100 feet long, more than a foot and a half deep, and spanning the entire breadth of the road. The storm drains in Annapolis are a little counter-productive. Whenever the tide is high, or there has been a tad more rain that usual, they back up and flood into the street.
The dinghy docking area, normally consisting of a small brick park with trees and benches about three feet above the waterline, was entirely immersed. Water lapped against the stairs on the far side, dampening the bronze children of the Kunta-Kinte memorial. Waterborne debris littered the plaza, and we spent some time fishing out and disposing of the inorganic matter.
The closer to the docks we got, the higher the water level. An Camaro and an SUV sat side-by-side in the lowest point of the dockside parking lot. Both were submerged up to their headlights.
The waterline sat less than a foot below the dock, sometimes coming into corners so violently that we were hit by the spray. Not that this mattered much, the constant chill rain--illuminated occasionally by distant flickers of lightening--kept us damp enough.
We took the side of Dock street opposite the docks on the way back (which proved to be a mistake). The Navy yard was surrounded by a veritable moat, and we joked that the single grey boat sitting in the parking lot was there for such occasions. A car passed us, and the shock of its passage sent a wave of brackish water over our shoes.
There was no saving our feet, really. An ankle-deep pool in the sidewalk pretty effectively drenched Evan, and swamped over the ankle of even my waterproof hiking boots. We arrived home soaked but elated.
It's easy enough to enjoy, because it's mostly spectacle. Despite the high water, there's no possibility of damage to businesses, homes, or people. In 2003, long before I moved here, hurricane Isabel did major damage, flooding all of Dock Street and up to the Hard Bean Café and Riordan's. 2009 is predicted to be a relatively average to light hurricane year. Considering the state of the storm drains, however, and the unusally rainy six months we've been having, it might not take a hurricane to cause real trouble here.
"Cthulhu before R'Lyeh"
India ink on bristol board.
6 x 11"
Copyright Lisa Grabenstetter, 06/2009