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Flooding in the park

As I was biking in to work this morning, I noticed that the small dam by the bridge near Westfield was completely under water. This got me wondering what the 100 Acres looks like with all of this extra water. I was in for quite a surprise.

This is part of Jeppe Hein’s Bench Around the Lake which overlooks the White River. Just to the right, across from that stone pillar out in the river, is a USGS stream gauge. You can see the readings from this gauge on the IMA Dashboard. As of this morning, it’s reading about 14.3 feet, which is 2.3 feet above flood level (according to the National Weather Service). I walked down to the surface of the water, and if the river were about 6 feet higher it would come up to the bottom of the bench.

This is a bench that overlooks the lake, and Andrea Zittel’s Indianapolis Island. You can read Michael and Jessica’s take on the flood over at Give and Take. I went down to the water here, and it would reach the bench with another three feet of depth.

The lake is doing a great job showcasing the design of Kendall Buster’s Stratum Pier. When the water level was at its peak last night it was probably submerging the lowest platform. This morning it appeared to be resting right on top of the water.

The biggest surprise came when I glanced over at Tea Mäkipää’s Eden II. The lake had completely submerged the deck of the shack, which is usually accessible via a few stairs.  The water came almost all the way up to the placard. The relationship between Eden II, climate change, and flooding makes this situation poetic, in a wabi-sabi sort of way.

And finally, here’s a little reminder that the path around the lake is not always circumnavigable. Ahead in the water you can see another of the benches, which overlooks Eden II to the right. What you see here is the lake submerging the path. Further ahead there is an inlet which connects the river to the lake, but obviously I wasn’t able to check out the situation there with my bike in tow.

Filed under: Art, Art and Nature Park, Current Events, Local

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