THE WATER KEEPS RISING, and all along the Ohio River people keep wondering about the weird and strange weather that we’ve all been suffering through.
Less than a month after everyone was trying to finish their Christmas shopping while shoveling through a heap of snow; now we’re trying to keep river water from overtaking everything in sight.
Water — in many forms — has quickly become our enemy.
So what are we to do? I can’t help but find it amusing that I’m still trying to dodge a big clump of snow in front of the newspaper office each day while I try and park as close to the front door as possible because of the heavy rains.
As I look out the window of the newspaper office, I see the water levels continuing to climb closer and closer to our rock wall as different elements of the Riverfront Park disappear under the murky water.
At this point I’d consider any option — and that’s where a rather unique idea by Patty Chase of Florence comes in.
Patty called the other evening with an off the wall plan to help with the rising river. She called me because she knows that I’ve had several off the wall moments in my life, and I was more than happy to listen to what she had to say.
Patty’s idea to keep the rain water from the river is to never let it get there in the first place. Sound like a simple, yet overwhelming idea?
The plan is for people to place buckets under their downspouts and in their yards and on their driveways — anywhere that is going to have rain fall on it. When the rain does come, it falls in the bucket instead of on the ground.
Less water soaking into the ground means less water flowing into the streams. Less water in the streams means less water flowing into the river. Less water in the river means less water ultimately in the riverfront park and across the roadways.
So laugh if you will, but any drop of water we catch in buckets is that much that won’t be in your basement.
Just think about if this grew and spread to other communities. As Patty said, if one million people caught a gallon of water, that’s a million gallons of water that’s not in the river.
It’s beginning to make sense, isn’t it?
Now the natural question is what do we do with the water after we catch it; and the simple answer to that is that we use it.
Just save the water in the bucket until all of this calms down, then water plants or wash your car or do something. If you just pour it out, by that time the water levels will be down and it could be safely absorbed.
So here’s the plan: everyone put out a bucket or two and catch that water before it soaks into the ground. Keep it around until this situation has passed, and then dispose of it.
Who knows, it may sound a little crazy — but if enough people pitch in, it just might make a difference.