Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tiber Flood

Many of you may have seen the reports from Rome that the Tiber is bursting at her seams.  It has been raining for over a month now.  It seems like every other day has brought us another weather system with more rain.   It is getting to be, to use a very cliché phrase, of biblical proportions.  Here is a picture of the Tiber river at what looks like summer-time (i.e normal) levels:


















Here is a picture I took the other day while going to St. Peter's.  It is almost the same angle but I couldn't get closer because there are crews tying to dislodge the huge barges that broke loose from their moorings and got caught against the side of Ponte Sant'Angelo:


















You can just barely see one of them though the second arch from the right.

Here's another comparison shot:































You can see the work crews trying to dislodge one of the barges.

Luckily for us who live in the former marshland that now is Rome, these retaining walls keep the water out.  They were put up in the late 19th century.  Before that, the Romans were at the mercy of the weather.  And there are many markers to prove it:














When Clement VIII, Pontifex Maximus was in his seventh year,

« ...THE TIBER GREW UP TO HERE
IN THE SAME NIGHT OF OUR LORD'S BIRTH » 1598

















« IN YEAR 1495, THE TIBER ON A
FINE DAY GREW UP TO THIS SIGN
ON THE NONAE (5TH) OF DECEMBER
ALEXANDER VI POPE - YEAR III »































the oldest extant flood record (1277)
« THE TIBER REACHED UP TO HERE... »



pictures from:  http://roma.freewebpages.org/roma-c4.htm


I think it appropriate here to quote the Sacred Scriptures, lest anyone think that poor Fr. David and the pitiable people of Rome are about to perish:


From the Book of Genesis:


God said to Noah and to his sons with him: "See, I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you: all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals that were with you and came out of the ark.  I will establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed by the waters of a flood; there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth."

God added: "This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, of the covenant between me and you and every living creature with you:  I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds,

I will recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living beings, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all mortal beings. As the bow appears in the clouds, I will see it and recall the everlasting covenant that I have established between God and all living beings--all mortal creatures that are on earth." God told Noah: "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all mortal creatures that are on earth."




1 comment:

Theresa said...

I noticed that two of those flood markers mention that the water reached that point in December--and one on Christmas. Guess that lends a new take on the carol:

"While fields and FLOODS
Rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy."