Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More on Lake Delton

There used to be a lake here

"It's hard to describe the force of water when it wants to move in one direction," Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle said. "It isn't that it broke through a dam. It pushed aside about 250 yards of earth, maybe 15 feet deep and 50 yards across. It pushed the edge of the lake until it fell into the Wisconsin River."
From Chicago Tribune article, "How a lake went down the drain."

I browsed the news about Lake Delton. Essentially the lake overflowed and formed a new channel. It was an artificial lake so perhaps it was just nature taking its course but that was probably no consolation to the home and business owners in the area. Other news stories talked about the gawkers (from Chicago, no less) come to view the damage--guilty as charged but at least I didn't trespass, hence the absence of gloriously detailed photos. One interesting story states that four guns were found in the lake. Hmmm--call in CSI.
I'm still amazed that the average parent/tourist spending a day at the waterparks could be totally unaware of the disaster. Perhaps the commenter on one of my Flickr photos said it best when I mused "Where have all the waters gone?" "To the waterparks," he said.


Coincidentally I just read the following in Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.
"Hard to the east is the Salton Sea, a placid ocean in miniature, its surface more than two hundred feet below sea level, created in 1905 by a monumental engineering snafu: Not long after a canal was dug from the Colorado River to irrigate rich farmland in the Imperial Valley, the river breached its banks during a series of major floods, carved a new channel, and began to gush unabated into the Imperial Valley Canal." Remember that old advertisement, "You don't mess with Mother Nature?" I can't remember the product but the global message is clear.


Andrée said...

gee I just finished that book last week. An amazing book, as all of Krakaur's are. The Salton Sea was an amazing section in the book for me. And your updates on this lake are amazing, too.

JL said...

It's rural Wisconsin. Drunken boaters dropped them and then couldn't remember where they went.

Also, there are statistics on how many duck hunters, etc. lose firearms into the lakes here every season and claim them on their homeowners' insurance, and it's substantial. I'm amazed that's all they've found so far.

No CSI going on around here; sorry to disappoint.

BendingPeak said...

I too just finished that book. It was a great read.
I don't know if I told you but I am moving to Naperville this fall. :) I may need advice on all things Chicago!

Rayne said...

Awesome and amazing that a lake can just sort of 'go away'. When we lived in Wa. they had built a new subdivision around a small lake, more like a large pond, really. The houses were sold with 'lake front views.' One morning they all woke and up the lake had litereally disappeared. They learned that with the houses being built, all of the digging, laying of pipes, etc. upset the natural area and the lake had drained away.
It interests and comforts me how Mother Nature strives to maintain a balance.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

That message is absolutely clear... hopefully everyone will get it soon before too much damage is done.

Excellent photos... as always. I love what you do with a camera!!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore