Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tempe Town Lake Disappears

Tempe Town Lake, 8 AM, July 21st, 2010

Okay, maybe not completely, but it has been reduced to a big stinky mud puddle.  It blew a bladder last night around 10PM, sending nearly 1 billion gallons down through the Rio Salado.  Later today Tempe city officials deflated the remaining 3 bladders that make up the dam, allowing the rest of the water to drain out.
Sadly, the flood has left hundreds of fish, stranded and dying, in 2 or 3 inch deep pools of water.  The usual set of birds that hang out on the lake were strangely absent, only a few scavenger birds - Grackles and Doves - remained.  So, I ventured to the habitat east of the lake (the Tempe Marsh), and tada! 

Cormorants and Egrets huddled together, seemingly befuddled,
likely wondering where in the hell their lake disappeared to.

Cormorants and Egrets crowd together at the Tempe Marsh
 riparian habitat upstream from the now empty Tempe Town Lake.

Double-click on image below for an enlarged slide-show.

City officials say the lake will be empty likely until Novemvber.  It will then take 2 weeks to re-fill the lake.  To see a video of the empty lake, see this YouTube video

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