Tuesday, June 10, 2008

And the rain rain rain came down down down....

When I started this cartoon yesterday morning, folks around southern Wisconsin were dealing with wet basements, and flooding that while inconvenient and expensive to deal with, was in no way a disaster. By the time I had finished, four houses had been destroyed when the man-made Lake Delton breeched it's banks and emptied itself into the Wisconsin River. Now dozens of resort home encircle a stinking lake bed, strewn with garbage.

I must say the press conference where they announced the Lake's drainage, was rather amusing. Some official steps up to the podium, and proudly states that rumors suggesting that the Lake Delton Dam had failed were entire false. The dam was fine and stable. Only after explaining the good condition of the dam, did the official acknowledge that the lake behind the dam had cut a new channel around the dam to allow the flood waters to poor into the Wisconsin River.

Now I'm no dam engineer, but aren't dams supposed to allow a certain amount of water through so that the lakes they create don't cut new channels around them? It seems to me that the dam failed to prevent the new channel from forming. And considering the tourism that once thrived on Lake Delton, that is a damn shame.

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