Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee & Flooding on Reston's Lake Audubon

A few weeks back we had a tropical storm pass over us. Lee dumped about 8" of rain in Reston in just a few hours. Most people were at work and didn't have time to prepare for the torrent of rain that arrived in the late afternoon.

There were parked cars at the park and ride on Sunset Hills that were submerged. Sink holes formed on Glade Drive.

And a LOT of water ended up in the lakes. Lake Throreau emptied into Lake Audubon under South Lakes Drive.

Water came in from Snakeden Branch. This section is normally flat and placid. There is no discernable current. The edge of the lake is where the boats are moored.

The last major flood on the lake that I can remember was during the summer of 1995. The water poured otu of th edrain and into the woods down stream. I was out there as a counselor for Reston Day Camp. My campers were finding fish and crayfish in the woods a hundred yards from the creek. The river had blown out that much. There was trash and leaf debris above my head in the trees. You may remember a bridge on 29 was washed out in Madison County, Va. I can't find the video, but there is one out there on the internets of the water rushing out of Audubon's drain.

As no one knew the water was going to rise, no one had time to loosen the ropes from docks to boats. As the boats rose in elevation with the rising water, they pulled the docks with them. I was here in Annandale during the flood. I was keeping up with the storm on my home waters via the Reston Patch. I finally got out there this past weekend to survey some of the damage. Not much was going on around the boat ram. There was plenty of debris caught up in the drain grate. Some debris littered the shore from the high water mark.

Some of the docks had leaf litter and other vegetative debris on the top and sides.
Here is a pile of stuff that washed down the creek.

 This log washed in. This is the backyard where the above video was shot. Look how far back the hosues are from the edge of the water.

 This floating dock actually floated up and above the dock it was tied to. Later that day an entire family came out to push it off and back into the lake. Quite a productive spot.
 There was a lot of stumps in the water too. The turtles didn't mind. I don't think I have ever seen more turtles on the lake than last Sunday.
 The results of a floating boat pulling a dock out of the ground. The home owners will have to wait until the next lake draining to fix their docks.

I wasn't sure how the fishing would be after all the rain damage. Obviously the fish didn't mind:

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