Withering drought shows Lake Mead boat graveyard

An old abandoned motor boat protrudes from the cracked mud like a giant tombstone. His epitaph could read: Here were the waters of Lake Mead.

The largest dam in the United States has been reduced to an all-time low amid a punishing drought and the demands of 40 million people in seven states that are sucking up the Colorado River. The mega-drought in the western US. UU. has been exacerbated by climate change. The forest fire season has gotten longer and the flames more intense, scorching temperatures have broken records and the lakes are shrinking.

The receding waters of Lake Mead National Recreation Area have revealed the skeletal remains of two people along with countless dried fish and what has become a cemetery of forgotten and stranded boats.

They beached houseboats, sailboats and motorboats, creating a surreal scene in a desert landscape, otherwise steep. A buoy that once marked a no-go zone is on the ground, not a drop of water in sight. Even a World War II-era sunken vessel that once inspected the lake emerged from the shallow waters.

Nature has not created this calm water paradise for fishing, camping and kayaking. The powerful Colorado River that divides Nevada from Arizona flowed under the walls of Black Canyon until in 1935 the Hoover Dam was erected for irrigation, flood control, and hydroelectric power.

The dam is now below 30 percent capacity. Its level has dropped 170 feet (52 meters) since it reached the high water mark in 1983, leaving a bright white line of mineral deposits on the brown walls of the canyon rising above motor boats passing up to a 15-story building.

Most of the boats ’ramps were closed and the docks at the marina were moved to deeper waters. A sign marking the water level in 2002 rises inconceivably above a road that descends to slip boats in the distance.

The drop in water level has consequences not only for cities that depend on the future water source, but for navigators who have to navigate shallow waters and avoid islands and sandbanks that hide beneath the surface before emerging.

Craig Miller was circulating in his houseboat last month when the engine died and floated to shore. Within days, the deep water from the knee where his boat rested disappeared.

“It’s amazing how fast the water went down,” Miller said. “I was without sea.”

He bought bombs and tried to dredge the sand around the boat to create a channel to the water, but was unable to stay ahead of the receding waters. A shallow-water trailer, originally estimated at $ 4,000, came to a $ 20,000 rescue job when it was abandoned.

Miller spent three weeks on the beached boat, spending much of it diving into the water to stay cool in the three-digit heat. The day before park rangers told him he had to get the boat out of the sand, he appeared with a crew to pull the boat Dave Sparks, a social media personality known as Heavy D, who had seen a video about Miller’s plight. from the coast and tow it to a marina.

Others flocked to the dry bed of the lake to take selfies in the haunting landscape or against the backdrop of what looks like a colossal ring around a bathtub.

The dry bottom of the lake looks like shattered glass, the cracks expanding in the hot sun and the mud fading from brown to beige.

A small bank of dead fish was leaning on their tails and arranged in a circle.

When the sun sets west over Las Vegas, the light illuminates the empty translucent body and empty eye of a fish. His mouth is open as if trying to breathe.

Withering drought shows Lake Mead boat graveyard Source link Withering drought shows Lake Mead boat graveyard

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