Deerfield River-Hurricane Aftermath

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Rand
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Re: Deerfield River-Hurricane Aftermath

Post by Rand » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:11 am

NOAA has a section on their site show stream guages for New England:
sg-1.jpg
The flood seems to have passed on most rivers but you can still see the past flood crests by clicking on the green squares. Here's an example:
sg-2.jpg
http://www.erh.noaa.gov/nerfc/

USGS also has one:

http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/new/index.php?id=ww_current

Looks like the discharge and river gauge for the deerfield river were blown off the scale:
dfr-d.jpg
dfr-h.jpg
http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/new/index.ph ... r=ma&w=map

Joe

Re: Deerfield River-Hurricane Aftermath

Post by Joe » Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:20 am

The question pops up again--- are old forests more resistent to wind damage than young forests? I think they are.
Joe

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dbhguru
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Re: Deerfield River-Hurricane Aftermath

Post by dbhguru » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:31 am

Joe,

If the winds blow hard enough and enough rain falls, no forest is resistant, but at lesser levels of wind and water, bigger standing trees, a large volume of downed material and very thick duff layer absorbs more water - a lot more water. In the late 1960 and early 1970s, in the Philippines and on Taiwan, I came through typhoons and tropical storms that would have washed away the skimpy woodlands of a place like the Quabbin Reservoir. The forests were very dense and loaded with downed material, big stuff, that impeded erosion and washouts.

Today, I'll go to Monroe State Forest and see how the forest handled the blow. I'm betting on the trees. The danger will be to the roads and bridges. I'll have images to share.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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dbhguru
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Re: Deerfield River-Hurricane Aftermath

Post by dbhguru » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:52 am

Rand, others,

The picnic and camping area of MTSF adjacent to the Cold River were devastated. In addition, the bridge crossing the Cold going into Mohawk has been severely undermined. As a park, Mohawk is closed for the remainder of the year. The HQ buildings, nature center, and cabins made it just fine. Here are some images from along Route #2 taken by Tim Zelazo. The first shows the undermining of the bridge over the Cold River going into the park. The second shows what was campsite 16. The others were taken from along Route #2. Note that the mature forest on the ridge sides is intact.
DSC_0007.jpg
DSC_0010.jpg
DSC_0031.jpg
DSC_0058.jpg
DSC_0068.jpg
DSC_0077.jpg
DSC_0079.jpg
DSC_0099.jpg
Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Deerfield River-Hurricane Aftermath

Post by Larry Tucei » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:14 am

Joe,Randy, Bob, NTS, Down here in the south Hurricanes usually produce 10-20" rain totals, softening the ground. Some trees just lay over and uproot due to this effect. Most larger trees can take the 100 MPH+ winds by flexing. The Hurricanes I've been through spawned so many tornadoes, in some cases hundreds, thats what brings most of the trees down and not the Hurricane winds themselves. I have rode out three eyes of major Hurricanes. It is amazing to watch large Pines sway like blades of grass its something you never forget. One example back in 98 Hurricane Georges gave us 24 hours of 75+ MPH and 8 hours of 100+ yet the majority of big trees survived. The storm came in from the southeast crossing the Ms Coast near Ocean Springs, then stalled and turned northeast. We were in the northeast quadrant of the eyewall the entire storm. I wish I had the Camera and Video equipment back then I could have taken some spectacular video and photos. Larry
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James Parton
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Re: Deerfield River-Hurricane Aftermath

Post by James Parton » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:37 am

Bob,

Do you still have access to Mohawk with the park being closed?
James E Parton
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New Order of Druids

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Rand
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Re: Deerfield River-Hurricane Aftermath

Post by Rand » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:40 am

Larry Tucei wrote:Joe,Randy, Bob, NTS, Down here in the south Hurricanes usually produce 10-20" rain totals,

One example back in 98 Hurricane Georges gave us 24 hours of 75+ MPH and 8 hours of 100+ yet the majority of big trees survived.
Those numbers are scary. Every 10 years or so we might get a thunderstorm that produces 4-6" of rain and gusts of wind like that and it really gets people's attention. It must be quite an experience to have that go on for an entire -day-.

Hurricane George's. Is that the one where if it had stalled over New Orleans the rain would have overwhelmed the pumping stations? It's really pretty depressing how many close calls that city got in the 10 years leading up to Katrina, and nothing was done.

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Lee Frelich
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Re: Deerfield River-Hurricane Aftermath

Post by Lee Frelich » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:56 pm

Bob et al.:

I am happy to see that MTSF trees survived. Some day you will get a category 2 or 3 storm and the forest will be renewed.

We had several thunderstorms this summer in Minneapolis with winds of 70 mph, and almost no trees blew down, probably because we had so many such storms in recent years that susceptible trees have been removed from the forest. One of them was a very interesting rotating head about 10-15 miles in diameter, and we had hurricane force gusts for 25 minutes coming from different directions as the storm passed by. Also, 3 inches of rain fell that blew 5 feet into the building where I work at the University of MN, through the windows and doors throughout the building. The bur oak trees in front of the building looked like there had been no wind at all, although they looked nice and fresh with the dust washed off the leaves.

During the big blowdown of 1999 in northern MN, winds of 100-120 mph for 20 minutes took down the entire forest over vast swathes of the landscape, but those are downburst winds, probably worse for trees than horizontal hurricane winds, and it was boreal forest. Our analysis of tree mortality showed that older forests (180 years old) were more resistant to damage than old even-aged stands, which were the most susceptible. Also, late successional species (plus paper birch, which is both early and late successional in MN) were much less susceptible than early successional species such as aspen and jack pine.

Lee

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dbhguru
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Re: Deerfield River-Hurricane Aftermath

Post by dbhguru » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:26 pm

NTS,

Today Monica and I went to Monroe State Forest. At the trailhead, we could see that Dunbar Brook had done its worst. The major bridge over the brook was gone completely. here's a view of the dam.
MSF-Dam.jpg
A few yards up the trail and looking across the brook, we could see where the bank had washed out. Here is a look.
MSF-Across-Dunbar.jpg
Still farther up the trail, we came to the main bridge across Dunbar - well what used to be the bridge across Dunbar. We spotted the two big support logs downstream 300 feet. The bridge is no more.
MSF-Bridge-Remains.jpg


The good news is that the trail is in good shape except for the bridge and Dunbar's forest didn't even blink. Here is a shot of the huge Dunbar ash. It just treated Irene as a nice bath.
MSF-Big -Ash.jpg
I got the report that some of the Berkshire Hill towns received 13 inches of rain. Now I understand why the Cold River did so much damage.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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AndrewJoslin
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Re: Deerfield River-Hurricane Aftermath

Post by AndrewJoslin » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:38 pm

Checking around my area the white pines did very well. I think they suffer the most from either freezing rain or wet snow combined with wind. We lost a lot of street and yard trees, mostly Norway maples and lindens with compromised root systems in their sidewalk enclosed habitats. In the woods it seemed a lot of red oaks had their hollow and otherwise unsound limbs removed, overall everything looks fine in the woods.

The Arnold Arboretum (in Boston) silver maple once touted as 126' lost it's central leader, it was rotted at the base of the leader. I think Bob was able to get 113' on that tree a couple years ago, good chance it's 100' or under now. The next largest of several remaining leaders is also rotted at the base so I'm guessing there's a lot of anguish at the Arboretum over whether or not they'll need to remove this impressive landmark tree.
-AJ

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