Excitement! It has been pretty stormy over the last few days and the ground must be saturated after so much rain, which is still falling, though I’m glad to say not heavily now.
This morning I looked out of my window to see the river Tweed was pretty high. I could see because of the debris that was decorating the banks just above the water, that it had come over its bank a little and gone back again, but as the day progressed the raging water rose again, and was soon edging the debris further and further back over the grass of Tweed Green. On the far side the riverside path was already underwater, and the benches alongside had their feet well soaked!
This was the scene by early afternoon when I went for a walk round the corner to the bridge. Do you see the grey smudge in the water between the two right hand trees? That’s the bench I look down on from my windows and it is normally about 6 or 7 metres from the river. You can see there’s a path that crosses the Green behind those trees in the middle of the photo. It is actually on a raised ridge – I want to say “took my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry” if you remember your American Pie. It’s that word levee I think I am looking for. Don’t know if I’ve spelt it right! Anyway the length of the path is higher than the grass on either side of it. So when you see some later photos bear that in mind. Here’s a panoramic shot. Later practically all the grass was underwater.
I suddenly remembered my car was parked right beside the Cuddy Burn so realisingthe water there was likely to be high too I thought I had better move the car! That done I walked a little way upriver to the metal bridge that crosses what used to be named the Boat Hole, where rowing boats were once hired out in the summer. One of my readers, Andrew, might remember it by that name? However passing the swimming pool I could see the cauld/weir like a raging torrent almost flowing back on itself the water was so strong. Tree roots were well under water, and the river trying to come through a small gap in the wall – probably a foundation wall of the old mill that stood here till it went up in flames in the 1960s. I’m sure it succeeded in time – the water coming through that gap, I mean!
By the time I got home, having stopped off at the Tatler cafe for my bacon and egg roll and a drink, it was getting dark, but I could see the water had risen right to the trees along the path, and in fact that was as far as it got as the height of the path stopped the water. Last time the river flooded this much the water came round from the bridge and began to flood our road, leaving the path high and dry, but this time the council had brought out the sandbags in time and blocked that route. Some of the neighbours had sandbags across the fronts of the buildings too. However, the rising water had to go somewhere, and at the other end of the Green where the land is lower, it forced its way onto the wider part of the Green and back along the road, swirling round several of the trees on the roadside! The main part of the path was still above water, and several people who had come out to see the river walked along it as far as they could which I think was nearly all of the way to the footbridge.
This strange photo was taken from my balcony looking down at the sandbags at my downstairs neighbour’s front door. I’m presuming that the sandbags had been delivered by the vanman in the nick of time as you can see the water is right up over the pavement and lapping against the bottom of our wall. The camber of the road meant that the middle of the road was still dry, and in fact it stayed dry, while the water trickled along the side of the road and pavement a little more. I suppose I know what I’m looking at in this photo. You can see the lights of the houses on the far side of the river, the footbridge lights on the left of the photo, and the river on this side running alongside the raised path. The tree in the foreground escaped the floodwater, but you can see the water beyond, and the road is in the left bottom corner also covered in water! I adjusted the lighting in this and the next photos so you could see better what was going on
I kept going out onto the balcony to check the water’s progress when I suddenly realised the water had retreated from the door downstairs, and that the water in the gutter was in fact trickling back the way it had come! Was that as far as the flood was going to rise?! It seemed like it but I was left wondering where the water was going so quickly. The river wasn’t going any further back on the other side of the path. I was out again probably 15 minutes later and what a difference! The water had retreated even more!
And I’ve just been out again! The whole road is free of water, and yes indeed the river is going down. I wonder if you can make it out here, but beyond the path there’s a triangle of green that wasn’t there before!
One last look! Well, not a lot of difference, maybe just a slightly bigger triangle of green! However, it means that the river is going down. Maybe by the morning it will be back where it ought to be – and let’s hope we don’t get any more rain for a bit.
Talk again soon.