Finally, some good news on flooding

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It’s not very often that flooding and good news are used in the same sentence, but this is one exception.

Franklin councilmen were told Monday night that grant money has been approved to buy two meters that measure the levels of the Blackwater River, and that those meters could be up and running by year’s end.

The meters, to be installed near Zuni and near Franklin, will allow officials to better monitor the river if it appears to be rising and running over its banks.

We know all too well the incredible damage flooding can create, and the meters can’t stop Mother Nature from saturating the ground and the streams that feed the Blackwater, but they should provide important information more quickly and efficiently.

As it stands, a single meter in Burdette — located several sharp bends upriver from Franklin — records the only reading on water levels. From that point south, it’s mainly guesswork.

“If we know what level the river has the potential of being, we can feed that information into the computer” to generate more accurate advance notice, City Manager Bucky Taylor told the council.

The meters can’t stop flooding, but will allow for better preparation.