Thursday, January 28, 2010

Opening the flood gates.

I am tired.
I am sunburnt - but today was great!
I cannot say I was terribly excited when I was sent racing out of the office at 7am to a tiny little town on the Free State border called Deneysville.
It is here that you find the Vaal Dam offices where the people who monitor water levels and pressure and all that scientific stuff are based. And it's here that they open the sluice gates to let water through so that the Vaal Dam, which is now 109% full after the past few weeks of constant rain, can drop a little. It's the first time they've done this in 14 years.
And so Chief Photographer and I were lucky enough to be present when two of the gates were opened.
It was incredible to watch the water thunder through and literally raise the level of the river below. But then the challenge: how to put the figures into amounts that make sense.
I spoke to the experts. But midday today they said the outflow of water would be 2 040 cubic metres of water per second. I asked them how many pools at my local gym that would fill. The reckoned about 20! A single cubic metre of water weighs a ton. So we did the sums.
The final figure we eventually got to was two million litres of water per second. It was deafening. The spray kicked up high in the air and made a rainbow.
People stopped on a bridge nearby to watch.
It was spectacular!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome indeed! Now if only it would go and rain somewhere its needed and give me a little bit of sunshine...