Inundation

antiques-along-the-mohawk

Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Deciding what to leave behind is the hardest. Each piece carries me back. I danced through these rooms on our first night, in love with life, with our cottage on the river. Then came children, neighbours, laughter. But dark times surged in, unforeseen – draining, suffocating years. I learned to withdraw, to tread water.

It’s over. The river is taking it. My house will drown. The mud will bury it all as the dam floods our valley. Other homes will glow with new power, as mine grows dark.

I’ll travel lightly now. I’ll keep to high ground, above the floodline.

*****

In the Snowy Mountains, New South Wales,  the Snowy River Hydro Scheme, a huge hydro-electricity project, required the inundation of two small towns in the 1950s .

In times of drought the water levels can drop sufficiently to reveal remnants of buildings and people’s possessions, left behind. It’s eerie and sad to think about these towns disappearing as the dam filled.

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Photo by lakeeucumbene.com

This blog post (‘The Eternal Traveller  – The Lost Town of Adaminaby’) has some interesting pictures of one such place, and a brief overview of the Snowy Hydro project.

My story is for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, where writers contribute 100 word stories in response to a picture prompt. Click here to read all the other stories.

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33 thoughts on “Inundation

    • I’m glad you saw that, gah. I wanted my character’s experience to be more foregrounded than the damming of the river. Perhaps my explanation was a distraction from that, but I wondered if the story would be meaningful without it. Thank you for your encouraging comment.

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  1. Very poignantly expressed. There is a growing awareness of the dangers of mega Dam projects these days but unfortunately that has not stopped them from being carried out around the world.

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  2. To lose all the history your home holds is incredibly sad. My husband’s home village was cut in half by a motorway., and he’s still bitter about the loss of the cricket ground.

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    • You’re welcome, Rochelle. It is just a tiny little bit of history, but I do like to think about how the big events of history affect the little people. Thanks for your lovely feedback, as always. Cheers, Margaret

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    • I’m glad you noticed the glimmer, CE. I was trying to imply that actually my character wasn’t all that sad about what was to come. Her memories aren’t all happy ones. Perhaps I didn’t show that very well. Thank you for your lovely response.

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  3. A good story built on a historic event, Margaret. That would be so creepy to see those houses rise above the water as it decreases. It’s so sad flooding like that happens when a dam is built. Well done. — Suzanne

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    • It’s a world-wide experience, but none the less moving for that. And you’re right – there is an extra dimension of eeriness when a submerged place is exposed, perhaps because we know it will eventually go under again when the water level rises. Thanks for your nice comment, Suzanne.

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  4. Beaver Dam was built here in the mid-60s. Several homes had to be sacrificed and when the water hits low points in late fall the ruins of Monte Ne are exposed for all to see. It actually becomes a tourist attraction. Your piece hit close to home with me. Very well written. Loved the POV.

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    • There’s something fascinating about such places – lost to the water. There are ghost towns and buried places all over the place, but somehow the ones under water seem to evoke more interest and speculation. Not sure why. I’m glad you liked my story, Russell. Thanks for reading and leaving your thoughts.

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  5. Interesting, Margaret. So many locations throughout the U.S. experienced a similar fate. Thanks for writing this. It shares a POV that might otherwise be lost to the ages.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

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