Friday, January 10, 2014

The Lost Town of Red Bank

While the rest of the country is freezing its collective tail off, my part of the country has seen some of the mildest weather in a long time. You might think this is a good thing, to have seventy degree weather in the middle of winter, and yes, sometimes it is. But not when you haven't had rain in months during what is supposed to be the rainy season.

Folsom, the town where I live, is under drought conditions, and there's been talk of putting the town under emergency drought restrictions. One of the results of this drought has been that Folsom Lake, the primary water source for the town, is down.

Way, way, down.

It's not all bad, though. Yes, not having water is a pretty scary thing. The silver lining, though, is the wonderful archaeological site which has been revealed by the receding waters of Folsom Lake.
Click on the pic for an aerial tour of Red Bank.
As the waters have continued to recede, the old town of Red Bank has come into view. (It's been called Mormon Island by some of the media, but it technically isn't.) The editor of the local paper has been conducting tours of the site-along with a bit of a history lesson- for those who are interested in seeing this rare sight.

It's interesting to see how the outside media has spun the story. The first thing they seem to blame for the water level is the release of the water for the Chinook and Steelhead salmon to be able to breed. (Damn fish! Who cares if they die out, anyway? :P) 

While this is part of the water usage of Folsom Lake, what the media often fails to note is that about 80% of the water release goes to industrial, agricultural, and municipal sources. This week, they reduced the release of water from the lake in order to store it.

Well, anyway, I hope you enjoy the video. It gives a great perspective on the old settlement!

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