Friday, July 3, 2009

Curiosity the key

Reporter Sara Kennedy, who did such a good job as lead writer on our Braden River series recently, was out on an assignment Thursday, when she saw something that stopped her in her tracks.

Two men were dropping something unusual into her favorite river from a bridge on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.

Turns out they were hydrologic technicians for the U.S. Geological Survey in Tampa and they were measuring the flow of the Braden River, after all the rain we received.

Sara was intrigued by a torpedo shaped device the men dropped into the water, and how they were able to upload date through a solar powered satellite link back to the head office. Just a very few years ago, that would have been the stuff of science fiction, or technology that maybe only a few had access to, such as the military.

Now, it's a cool tool, but still just an everyday tool for the hydologists, one of whom confided that the Braden River was his favorite, too.

But the story didn't end there. Thanks to Sara's curiosity, we quickly learned the rain had pushed Myakka Head, parts of the Manatee River and the Little Manatee River to flood stage. But the high water was expected to receded with the approach of the weekend. That's very good news.

For more, see Friday's Bradenton Herald/Lakewood Ranch Herald or read the full story at


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