The Brazos River out back is expected to rise up out of its banks soon, and I expect to breathe a lot easier as a result.
This part of Texas has been in a severe drought that’s been building for several years. The Brazos, which stretches from the New Mexico border 900 miles northwest of here to the Gulf of Mexico another 75 miles or so to the southeast, has been trickling along for the past two years at a depth of 9 or 10 feet in the channel, and just 3 or 4 feet along the width of the riverbed down at the back end of our property.
It hasn’t jumped out if its banks to any significant degree since probably June of 2007, when it rose to a depth of about 46 feet, prompting one of my neighbors to launch his jet ski out of my back yard, despite the fact that giant whole trees and major appliances were whizzing along in the angry water.
We had 6 inches of rain yesterday and more the day before, and more importantly, they had major rain north and west of here. Much of Central Texas drains into the Brazos, and now it’s waking up after a long sleep. When I took the photo above this morning, the river was running at 25 feet, and the National Weather Service is predicting it’ll hit 44 by Tuesday.
That’s pretty high. I went down after taking the photo, to move the old plastic lawn chairs we keep along the bank. I was able to move two of them uphill to safety. I was too late for the other two, but maybe someone downstream can use them.
As for the “breathe easier” comment, I suffer from hay fever, and it’s been particularly bad this year. The riverbank is covered in ragweed, the main pollen-producing hay fever culprit. The bad news about the high water is that when it’s all over, it’ll leave a 3-to-5-foot layer of mud over everything. The good news is that the ragweed will be underneath all that mud, too.