What 13,000 Cubic Feet Per Second of Floodwater Looks Like
by James Hunt
The Roman poet and philosopher Ovid once said that "Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence." And while that might be a good point if you're trying to encourage patience and discipline, we can't help wondering what Ovid might have said if he'd instead considered this stream of water blasting out of a dam's overflow pipe at 13,000 cubic feet per second.
Before you go any further, take a moment to drink in the impressive sight of what must be millions of gallons of water spewing out of Oklahoma's Tenkiller Lake dam in this raw footage taken by the Associated Press. For context, the amount of water you're seeing could fill an entire Olympic-sized swimming pool every 7 seconds:
The floodwater was released after unprecedented rainfall in the region required some extra intervention to protect the dam and its surrounding area from a potential disaster. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were called in to manage the process, opening the release valves and causing the raging torrents seen in the above video. Having seen the results, all we can say is rather them than us.