The last 48 hours has been pretty wild, weary and worrisome. We had an epic rainstorm to beat the band, a real gully washer. Remember I said, there might be floods in (some) places? Turns out, we had one. Under our house! A bit of a shock because this has never happened before. We did not actually think it could. Because it rains a lot here, and naturally, provisions are made for that inevitability. All the proper downspouts and channels are in place for water to be carried out to drainage creeks and canals and beyond. But with a quick snow melt combined with heavy rains converging all at once and flowing down the mountainside (which our house happens to sit at the bottom of), things went beyond the normal limits. The waterways here over-flowed and could not manage that much water all at once and things began to back up. By the time we realized it, there was about a foot of standing water under us and rising. From the outside of the house everything looked normal. There was no standing water around the perimeter at all. It wasn't until we removed the trap door to the crawlspace (inside the closet under the stairs), that we realized what was happening. What to do? Well, without a water pump and time being of the essence you are forced to get creative! A wet shop-vac seemed our only means of removing the water, bucket load by bucket load. Over 200 gallons we estimated. It took most of the day. We prayed the power would not go down. Calls to water management agencies told us that they were swamped with calls, were out of pumps, had more on order, and put us on a waiting list for a house-call later in the week. Everyone it seems had some sort of trouble. First in the high areas here, and then in the lower areas of town, when toward the end of the day, all the water poured into overflowing lakes and tributaries before reaching its final destination; the Willamette River. We heard about roads that were flooded, trees that came down, power outages in some places, and houses and roads on the nearby hillside in peril of slipping off foundations. All quite scary. Fortunately, the waterline never reached floor level here and for that we were relieved and ever-so grateful. When we checked on it again before bed last night, the few inches of water that had remained seemed to have found its way out. By then the rain had stopped and the creek receeded enough to allow the water to finally flow out. BIG *sigh* of relief. This before and after photo tells the story pretty well too.
I took this picture at the height of the storm. This drainage creek runs through our backyard. It begins at the road, travels alongside our driveway, then turns and goes under the fence, flows back here (shown), and through a drain pipe that connects to an underground drainage system. At this point, water was just gushing through both ends of the fence and right on down the back roads. The sound of rushing water was incredible, like white water rapids. No way to convey my alarm and shock when I saw this.
I took this picture today, showing what it normally looks like after a heavy rain. I've always hated those big jagged rocks. But I think I like them now. Yes, I definately appreciate them much more. Hope everybody is safe and has weathered the storm. I don't think we are out of the woods yet, as far as weather goes. We can only take things day by day, and try and stay prepared. I think that's true wherever we are and whatever our circumstances. Be safe.