Chesapeake Takes Brunt Of Post-Lee Damage

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The damage caused by last week’s torrential rains isn’t over. It’s just moved on to a new target.

Alex DeMetrick reports the Chesapeake is now taking the brunt of what’s washed off the land.

Blue sky and sun above, but beneath the Bay Bridge, the view is anything but perfect. Down at water level, what Tropical Storm Lee swept off the land is now riding the currents of the Chesapeake. It’s everything from trees to trash, carried on chocolate-colored water.

“This is top soil farmers don’t want to lose. This is stuff that’s come off construction sites. You look at a mess like this, you can’t single out anybody. This is us. This is 21st century human beings and all our activities,” said John Page Williams, Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Much of it is washed downstream on the Susquehanna River. There are pollutants you can’t see like nitrogen and phosphorous, which cause destructive algae blooms carried by a force strong enough to rip up immense mooring balls while tearing loose critical underwater grasses.

Williams has been monitoring the water below, where it’s separated into three layers. Tropical Storm Lee’s runoff sits like a cap on top.

If it stays, “then the decayed bacteria down there in the deep water will suck the oxygen right out of it,” Williams said.

But this debris is more than a threat to the environment.

“It’s a real hazard. There’s stuff out here that can break this boat to pieces,” Williams said.

And it stretches for miles down the heart of the bay.

How much impact the runoff has on the bay may not be known until next spring, when longer-term effects on water quality are measured.

More from Alex DeMetrick
Comments

One Comment

  1. Herman Glimsher says:

    THAT’S RIGHT……………CONSTRUCTION SITE RUN-OFF IN THE BAY…………….AND, YOUR FEARLESS LEADER OH-BAMA WANTS TO CREATE MORE CONSTRUCTION RUN-OFF WITH HIS $450 BILLION DOLLAR WASTE OF TAX MONEY THAT WON’T DO A THING TO HELP THE ECONOMY EXCEPT IN THE SHORT-TERM…………..HIS BOGUS INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING WILL ONLY DO MORE TO HARM THE HEALTH OF THE BAY………………SO, DON’T FORGET TO VOTE HIM INTO OFFICE AGAIN FOR A SECOND TERM!!!!!!!!

  2. Jamie S says:

    Herman, you sir, seem to be out of touch with reality. I personally know 6 construction workers who were able to return back to work due to TARP funds after being laid off for 7 months. Would you rather spend the money killing civillians in Iraq and Afghanistan?? Are you aware of the failing electric grids, the bridges that are crumbling and the lack of water in the entire Southwest?? I say we do need infrastructure and jobs and the sooner the better. I will gladly hand over 18% of my paychecks to improve our nation.

  3. MM says:

    I already hand over more than 30% of my paycheck!! How are you getting away with just 18%!!!!

  4. MM says:

    The bay is just disgusting – and it’s a complete shame. What really should be the crown jewel of Maryland is a lifeless cesspool with no signs of improving.

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