The first big fall rain event of the year swept through Washington on Oct 20, 2016 with the river reaching a peak level of 14,500 cfs and staying close to that for almost 3 hours. The storm caused no apparent damage either along the paved portion of the road or on the gravel section to Dingford Creek and Goldmyer hotsprings.
After a severe series of storms in the fall of 2015 this year has been relatively calm so far with no sudden spring thaws. The previous significant river flow peaked at only 11,800 cfs at the TANW1 gage on February 15, 2016.
Mine Creek log jam before the first high water this fall. It’s unusual for this river eddy spot to have so few logs stranded on the gravel bar.
The log jam at Mine Creek was refilled with log debris and rearranged again as it is with every high water event
Green Ridge creek was surprisingly still dry in early October
Green Ridge creek flowing strongly again after recent heavy rains
Dingford Creek falls is in full fall roaring mode
During the last week three of the Middle Fork gates and/or locks were vandalized. The Bessemer Gate (DNR) was bent out of shape and hanging open until it was partially repaired and the lock replace.
The Bessemer Gate is mostly back together but these bars were pulled away from the hinge post.
The left-side lock on the Taylor Campground gate was removed and was still missing as of February 21. It may have been cut off twice.
The lock was cut off the left Taylor Campground gate and the signs were tagged. The graffiti was quickly removed by volunteers.
The lock was also cut off the Dingford gate — quite a trick as located in a hard to access spot inside a sturdy metal post. No damage to the Dingford gate itself was observed and the lock has been replaced.
The Dingford Gate lock was removed, but a replacement was in place quickly
In addition the cable car just downstream of the TANW1 river gage was removed by the USGS because nearly every time they came out the lock had been cut and the cable car was stranded in mid-span. This has been going on for several years and the USGS started locking the cable car in 2012. In the future the river gage engineers will us a remote controlled device to calibrate the gage by measuring water flow at various depths and locations across the river. This is what used to be done in a more manual process by lowering a flow meter from the cable car.
The TANW1 cable car has been removed
USGS engineer measuring river flow to calibrate the TANW1 gage
One of many times the TANW1 calibration cable car was stranded mid-span by vandals cutting the lock and setting it loose