We had another power-cut on Wednesday evening, so I went down to the Rivelin Valley to take a look at the flood damage.
Although it was still much higher than normal, the river had calmed down a lot since Monday night. The water also looked much clearer, having dumped most of the mud that it had been carrying. It soon became apparent why the water had been so muddy when the river was in spate. Tons of soil had been scoured from the riverbanks, taking with it much of the riparian vegetation. In places, the banks had been stripped down to the bed-rock. Several riverside trees had toppled over because the water had undermined their roots. Massive boulders, wrenched from the banks, were scattered across the river bed.
Elsewhere, the raging water had left behind thick deposits of silt and rubble. From an ecological standpoint, it will be interesting to see how rapidly these deposits are colonised by plants. The silt should hold lots of 'propagules' - seeds, bulbs, root fragments, etc - eroded from the banks further upstream. Botanical surveys of the lower, urbanised sections of the Sheaf and the Don often turn up unexpected colonies of woodland plants growing in the riverside silt, which presumably arise from propagules washed down from the headwaters.
There was some erosion on the riverside footpath, but nothing that can't be mended. One of the footbridges had suffered damage where a huge log had become wedged underneath it.