Flooding and fire are Chris Lowie’s frequent companions at the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.
If one of them isn’t laying siege to the 112,000-acre wilderness, the other is often whispering to Lowie, the refuge manager, that it soon might do so.
It was flooding’s turn late last summer and early fall. Three storms in four weeks, culminating in Hurricane Matthew in early October, dumped more than 30 inches of rain over parts of Chesapeake. Some of the refuge’s 150 miles of manmade ditches become torrents, and neighborhoods downstream in the Deep Creek area were overrun with stormwater.