As we all know water can be a very powerful force and this was witnessed last week when a flash flood struck Greenbrier, Cosby Creek and Big Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains. Fortunately, no people were injured. I have spent a lot of very enjoyable times photographing these three streams and I’ve gotten to know them very well. I haven’t been to Big Creek since the flood but Greenbrier doesn’t seem to have any drastic changes.

Cosby Creek before the flood:

Cosby Creek, however, has been forever changed. As seen in these before and after photos, the flood moved a great deal of debris and rocks. What was once moss covered rocks have now been scoured and very little moss remains. Both of the footbridges over the Lower Mount Cammerer trail and the Low Gap trail have been washed out. Dams of dead logs and debris have been created and once recognizable waterfalls and cascades have been altered or no longer exist.I can’t believe many aquatic creatures survived the flood and I don’t know how those that do remain will survive in this almost sterile environment.

Cosby Creek after the flood:

It will be many years before Cosby Creek regains it’s former appearance. I encourage anyone with a desire to witness the destructive force of a flash flood to visit Cosby Creek.

Roger Trentham – guest blogger