28th Jun 2006
A flood hit Binghamton and the surrounding environs this morning, resulting in a state of emergency and evacuations in the South and East side (I am on the West side.) There is an article on CNN, and one of the pictures in their rotating picture gallery is of the park around the corner from my house—which you can see here, on the left. Under the river.
Click on the pictures for larger images.
By the way, props to the one poor cop whose job it was to keep everyone from walking onto the bridges. Apparently we have this curious reaction to disasters, that we like to check them out as they’re happening. At some point in the last century we lost the good sense to get away from retaining walls during a flash flood, and so this guy was yelling himself hoarse.
Riverside follows the Susquehanna river, and Water follows the Chenango, which flows down from the north. The confluence is where the park and Wash. St. bridge are found. In all of these pictures so far I am facing roughly south.
Binghamton is divided into the south side (south of the Susquehanna,) and east and west sides. I live on the west side, and city hall etc is on the east. The east and south sides were partially evacuated, in part because water was spilling over retaining walls. On the west side, we don’t have retaining walls, just a little more altitude.
A view of the east side from the west side. Note the concrete barrier: the water level is maybe six inches below the wall. On the other side, the ground level must be a good 3 feet lower.
Binghamton is “The Parlor City,” supposedly because it’s such a boring place that all people could do was sit in their parlors. The flood really got people mingling about, though. For one day, it had as much people walking about as any other city.
By the way, I found this silly bit of innumeracy about the flooding, in the newspaper:
Overflow at the Pepacton Reservoir in Delaware County peaked today at 5 p.m. as 19,721 cubic feet of water per second rushed over the spillway.
Hey look, they got a reading accurate to 1/200th of a percent. Or maybe someone converted to cubic feet from some other unit, and just typed in what the calculator told them.