Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe...join me!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

high water

The water is rising here from all the melting ice and snow, causing flood chaos.  Reports are that the Koblenz altstadt will soon be under water.  The Rhein is supposed to rise another 2.5 metres, from an already higher than normal level.  So, great guy came home yesterday, in a panic to save his fancy steg (boat ramp).  He grabbed some thick boating ropes, a hammer, a chainsaw and his working gloves, and I followed behind-in the pouring rain, and as always, not really having any idea what he is planning to do.  I decided, that the very least I could do is yell for help if he falls into the rushing water.

The river water is moving at incredible speeds.  All the ducks and geese are lined up on the far bank, staying on high, dry ground, watching the fast, milk-chocolate-coloured water rush by.  I think they must be willing the water to calm down, so that they can once again enjoy their playground.

We climbed down to the, now non-existent shore, standing on part of the crumbling walkway he built years ago.  Great guy tied the rope around his waist, handed me the other end, and then began to precariously cross the long, bendy plank on his hands and knees, pushing the equipment in front of him, out to the floating steg.  I went along with his plan, thinking, "no problem, I got this", as huge trees and stumps zoomed by us.  Then, after untying the rope from his waist (super) he secured it to the steg.  Standing, and trying to balance on the swaying planks, he took the chainsaw and cut down the overhanging tree branches, which will allow the steg to rise with the water level and not break apart when it collides with the tree (Smart guy-I wouldn't have thought of that).

I was paying attention to his work, honestly ready at any second to throw my end of the rope in to him, if necessary.  But, I was also fascinated by all the stuff in the water rushing past;  lots of trees, a beer keg, a baby bottle, a gas can, and for some reason, a whole assortment of balls.   How did they get in the water?  Really, if I had any guts I would have swum out (and proceeded to die) and collected the basketball, soccer ball, volley ball and beach ball, and would've been set for a summer full of fun!  Instead, I just watched, mesmorized.

Eventually, drenched and a bit cold, great guy got the job done.  The steg will be around for the boating season (I mentioned that I'll need to be here to have a boat ride, and he said, "ya, of course").  We saw best friend as we were heading in and she was coming home.  She is terrified of the possible flooding; certain that the house will fall apart if water gets in.  She lives on the top floor of the house and so, I think, the only thing she needs to be worried about is that the rest of us will need to move in with her!
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