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BOOK OF NOAH, La Manzanilla edition

Posted by Dorrie on May 30, 2008, 7:04 pm

I've been thinking and talking about this for a long time, so quite a few of you may have heard my opinion: I believe we are could have a serious flood here, this year.

The reason? Last fall the municipality dug out the arroyo's channel - using a big D8 - and piled up heaps of loose gravel and rock for a kilometer and more. If you go a ways upstream from the broken metal bridge you will see the banks of the arroyo are lined 2-3 metres high and 2-5 metres deep with these materials. All the boulders have been buried, and the natural structure of the streambed profoundly changed. According to the Delegado this was to prepare for this year's rains. He is confident that channelizing the arroyo will control possible flooding, and that all is well. (I have not talked to him about my concerns, but Nansee New and I did ask him what the machine work in the arroyo was for.)

I brought 4 different professors from CUCSUR,(University of Guadalajara branch in Melaque) to check out the situation: all agreed that there was a real danger of flooding this year. None were hydrological experts, but common sense was enough to figure out there was a big problem.

The way it could happen is: a strong flow of water, as from a storm, would sweep tons of the loose gravel downstream toward the ocean. When this flow runs into the sand bars and the ocean it will slow down and DROP THE TONS OF GRAVEL. In a very short time, in a self-reinforcing process, more and more gravel will be deposited at the mouth and back up the arroyo. As the streambed fills, the water will run over the banks and into the village.

We are bound to be brushed by a hurricane or two, same as last September. There was almost 10" of rain in 2-3 days! My concern is that the gravel is easy to pick up, and easy to drop when there is a slow down: ie: an obstacle. Besides the sand bars and the sea water there's the concrete bridge propped up by wooden supports, and the sea wall of the jardine tottering on it's foundations.

It's really worth a walk up the arroyo: the amount of loose gravel is staggering.

You will have to decide for yourselves about the possibility of flooding, and what you want to do about it. I have decided not to try to do anything legal or official because I'm too politically vulnerable right now.

Hey! If there is no flooding, then I'll be the silly fool crying wolf...but no problema, I'll just be glad all is well, and take the teasing as it comes.

Noah's illegitimate daughter


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