Last fall when Hurricane Sandy went right over our heads at Laurelville, Jacob’s Creek reached water levels not seen since 1972 (at least, according to anecdotal evidence), when Hurricane Agnes dumped 10 inches of rain on the area. We thought that we had a “once-every-forty-years-or-so” storm on our hands.

Then we were hit with a flash flood last Friday, and the water peaked about a foot higher than it had been during Sandy. By just as quickly, things seemed to get back to normal.

Until today… just five days later.

We had some hard rain overnight. If I had to guess, I’d say an inch or so. I really don’t know. When I went to work this morning, the water level at the falls was 11″. That’s flowing pretty well, but it isn’t really remarkable. (You can compare it to Friday and Saturday’s levels in my earlier post.)

But at 3 p.m., the sky turned dark and the rain came down… hard. An inch arrived in about half an hour, and then showers continued. On the radar loop below, the afternoon rain doesn’t look like a big deal, but it was crazy.

Radar loop - Aug 28, 2013

(Midnight to 8:30 pm, with a pause at 3 pm. The blue dot is Laurelville.)

I was out around the camp, making sure that water wasn’t getting into buildings. I called the office to check on the level of the falls, but at 3:30 pm, the level was still at 11″. At 4 pm, I went to check myself. Still 11″.

“You didn’t believe me, did you?” asked one of my colleagues. I assured her that I did, but I predicted the level would go up.

And then it did.


In the next 40 minutes, the creek went up to 27″ (an increase of 16″).

4:40 pm

If you look closely, you can see water flowing down the small sinkhole that opened last Friday.


By 4:55 pm, the creek was up to 30″. The sinkhole was bigger, and water was running around the falls and over the wall at Metzler Cabin (just like last Friday).


By 5:30 pm, the water levels had peaked. The sinkhole was big. And then this happened:

Unfortunately, yes. That is on “film”.


And then things got surreal… The sun came out.

The flood in the setting sun

Now it’s late, and I’ve got to get to bed. We may have had our third “40-year” flood in less than a year, but we still have a whole bunch of guests arriving tomorrow.

Big repairs are coming up!

(BTW – This is by far the biggest issue from today’s flood. The rest of the camp was relatively unscathed, although the playground is a mess. Water was running through it for the second time this week.)

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