Monday, August 12, 2013

Weather Woes

We have been beset by storm after storm for weeks and we have had record breaking (yet again!) rain and there has been massive flooding all around our area. We are on a hill and though we were cut off for a while from the outside we were generally faring pretty good until the pond over topped the spillway during a period where we had a foot of rain in about a 5 hour period.

It came off the South pasture...
It came off the upper East pasture...
Then the upper pond breached the spillway and flowed to the lower north pond and we had a relatively fast flowing river between Judy's mobile home and the farm house. We have taken great pains to grade everything away from structures and channel the water flow because we do get monsoon rains but as one local told us, "I've never seen anything like this around here for the 74 years I have been around". None of the structures got water into them or were damaged but our roads were washed out in places and about $1000 worth of the gravel we laid this spring got washed down to the lower pond.
It feels like we are back in Alaska with all the rain and I almost expected to see some salmon swimming up stream here.
Our upper pond is now a lake. Last year at this time it was only about 4 foot deep due to the drought and now its about 20 feet deep.....the drought is over.
Here is the spillway that is causing all the carnage to our roads and parking area. Normally to the right in this picture you would go down about a 10 foot embankment to reach the pond.
This is a normally dry stream in our back woodlot but its been flowing for about a month. Its actually kind of picturesque and the cattle have been enjoying drinking from it.
Others have had more damage and we consider ourselves lucky. Our nearest neighbor had his access road wash out onto the highway and partially block one lane so he was out trying to clear it right after this particular storm. We have a great State Transportation Dept but they are spread thin in our remote area and its expected that land owners take care of things...and we do.
Some other friends that live about a mile and a half from us as the crow flies got hit with a small tornado and they lost a couple of barns that they used for their business but luckily no one was hurt and their house amazingly didn't even lose a shingle. Amazingly the Mustang buried in the ruble in this picture wasn't damaged much.

The power of Mother Nature is an awesome one and we live in an area where we are very attuned to the weather for obvious reasons. Its not a casual "watch the news and see what the weather will be" thing either. Virtually everyone has a weather radio, we get storm alerts sent to cell phones, we have NEXRAD radar links on the computer and most of us have our own weather instruments (Thermometer, anemometer, barometer, and rain gage). In fact, the weathermen around here are minor celebrities and often attend fairs, are featured speakers at churches and other civic meetings etc.
This entire section of one of the barn roofs was found about 100 yards into the woods wrapped around a tree, rafters and all.
I was actually on a structure fire call in another town (lightening strike) at about 0500 in the morning when the tornado hit but Holly got a call and immediately went over to lend support and then when I got back a bunch of us went over to help them move things into their basement and garage. We worked most of the day getting things in order and soon there were drinks, pizza and a second shift of people showed up to finish up. Its what neighbors do around here.
The rain continues, we cant really repair our roads and parking area until it stops because the pond is so full even a little rain over tops the spillway now but its supposed to let up later this week and our farm sales seemed to have surged with the bad weather. Its just life on the farm and where we would have been upset or kind of freaked out about all this a couple years its just another thing to deal with like everything else...and not really all that big of a deal at that.


1 comment:

  1. Wow. We've been getting rain like crazy (only two days of NO rain since July 21st) but are still no where near as bad as you guys got hit just north of us. Drought is most definitely over....hopefully all of this moisture will bring in a GREAT second cutting of hay.....that is if it drys out enought to cut & bale.