The week before and after Christmas were particularly wet here in Georgia. So wet there was major flooding actually. The Chattahoochee, which runs through the city of Columbus, reportedly rose over 30 feet. Local creek beds overflowed into rushing rapids and ponds became lakes.
In all that danger though was a sense of power and beauty. On Christmas Eve I wandered about during a break in the down pour. I shielded my camera with a scarf from the on-going mist and got to documenting the rising water (a safe distance away of course) before the next set of rain set in.
I was in awe of the power of nature. So much so that there was a sense of fear. I was very cautious of where I was walking and would watch the water to ensure where I wanted to go was not a likely area for sudden danger. I can’t lie, I was a bit nervous at times. I had never really been in flood areas and had heard stories of people getting hurt and killed. So I was on high alert of my surroundings. Kind of like when in a deployment convoy or patrol-super aware of everything around you.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the water. I go kayaking and white water rafting. I swim. I do paddle board yoga. I will chose water activities over several other forms of fun. But, I am kind of terrified of water. Not so terrified that I won’t go in it obviously. But fearful enough that I respect its power. Scared enough that my heart races at the thought of currents and undertows and sudden gushes. Hesitant enough that I will only do some water activities with a well-trained guide. And smart enough that I know my limits and avoid other activities.
As I walked around, I could see walk ways and pedestrian bridges that normally towered several feet over the water were now covered, or awfully close to it. And more rain was expected to come. It scared me honestly.
It continued to rain for days off and on. The water was everywhere. Sink holes popped up in a number of places. I think the highest I heard was that 5-9 inches fell in one day, depending on the area. That seems like a lot.
I remember one night, I had trouble falling asleep because it seemed to be a constant downpour for hours. My house is on a hill (miles from a water source) so the likelihood of a flood getting to me would have required Noah’s Ark-level waters, but still, I was anxious. I wondered about the river I saw earlier in the day. I thought of the people who lived in low areas.
It was bad, but certainly not the worst I have ever seen on the news. It was the worst I had experienced though. So maybe that was the reason for the anxiety?
With that anxiety, there was a sense of excitement too. I was eager to shoot some pictures. I wanted to play with long exposures and record the event. I took several photos, which can be seen here.
Overall, it was a mix of emotions. Just as nature is a mix of good and bad, intensity and serenity. I have always loved and respected nature. But that holiday time period certainly reminded me that Mother Nature is charge. No mater what we humans try to do to control her, she calls the shots.