The Power of Water

This is an older post I have written, but with the recent hurricane Harvey affecting the Gulf coast, I thought it would be a relevant reminder.  Please, everyone affected by flooding, heed the officials call to evacuate, and do NOT try to drive through flooded roads!!

Last week I wrote an article on flooding.  Today I am giving a specific example of just what too much water too fast can do.

This occurred during a heavy spring rain.  There was over 4-1/2″ of rain in just a few hours.  This location had a 10′ diameter pipe that had over 3 feet of earth and rock cover over the top.


This was the hole that was left after the wash out.  Notice the traffic control by a local resident.


Finally, this is where the culvert ended up.  Again, this culvert was 10′ in diameter, and 20 feet long.  That put its weight at over 3,000 pounds.  Adding two feet of dirt adds 67,000 pounds and a foot of rock adds another 34,000 pounds.  That is a total of 104,000 pounds, or 52 tons.  It didn’t just move the culvert; it ended up about 60 feet downstream.  According to the EPA, the weight of the average car is 4,079 pounds or just over two tons.  So the water at this location moved 13 times that much material.


Please do not underestimate the power of moving water when trying to drive through flooded roads!

Comment (1)

  1. Daniel Barnett

    I had no idea that water was so powerful! This post helped me to remember that I should NEVER try to drive through floodwaters.


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