Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kudzu No Match for Mother Nature

It has been raining like mad. Tornado sirens have been going off all through the day and night. Streets have been flooded from side to side. Drains stopped up all over town. City services stretched to the limit. Highway and Transportation Department on high alert with extra crews working to keep the water and debri off the roadways, highways and byways.

"It took me 45 minutes to get from McDonald's to downtown" one citizen explained. There were several detours through the town for various reasons. The city has experienced mudslides, flooding and downed trees and power lines. Fortunately, there have been no reported fatalities connected to the bad weather and the conditions caused by it.

The detours were scattered and disconnected on parts of Oakland, Stringtown, Biscoe and Springdale Roads. The water from the sporadic but heavy rainfall has taxed the ability of our public agencies.

Kudzu is a vine. It has aliases such as "foot-a-night vine, mile-a-minute vine, and the vine that ate the South." It was brought here from Japan in or around 1876. By 1930, a federal government agency was promoting Kudzu for erosion control.

As you ride through the Crowley's Ridge area of our state, you can see the vine growing rapidly, especially during the late spring and early summer months. However, as the pictures indicate, the Kudzu vine can only do so much and will slide with the mud to be picked up by the backhoe or front-end loader once it lands in the street. Kudzu is no match for Mother Nature's relentless watering of the local landscape.

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