Pictures of the Emory River at Oakdale, Tennessee
Inside the river gage on the Emory River at Oakdale, Tennessee. A river gage has a device for measuring the stage of the water above the zero level, a means of recording the data and, in the case of gages used in river forecasting, a means of transmitting the data to users like the National Weather Service, US Geologic Survey, etc. The exciting thing about river gage houses is the variety of animal life that often take up residence there: spiders, snakes, wasps, and birds are common.
The view upstream from the gage. Behind the camera is an almost vertical cliff wall, with a busy railroad track above. The bridge in the photo has been covered many times with water during floods. In fact, it has drainage holes drilled in the roadbed to allow flood waters to drain directly back into the river. The terrain is rocky and rugged. The river behaves somewhat like a mountain stream further upstream, rising rapidly during heavy rains.
The view downstream from the gage. Eventually, it flows into the city of Harriman, Tennessee.
View across the river to Oakdale. The buildings near the river were flooded regularly until a berm was built to deflect flood waters. The bank has been stripped clean of most vegetation.
The gage, from the other side of the tracks, with Oakdale in the background. During one 20 minute period, six trains loaded with various materials passed this point.
Another view of Oakdale from across the Emory River. Notice the debris on the far bank.
Flood sign. Notice the tree in the foreground which has been uprooted.
The river gage house. For perspective, notice the man just to the right of the gage. Flood waters have been up to the level of the catwalk.