Sunday, February 5, 2012

In Like A Lion....

This spring is definitely roaring in like a lion!

A week and a half ago, we had a big early morning storm with some strong winds that broke the electric pole behind our house.
See where those shards meet the ground on the right hand side? That's where the pole is supposed to be. It snapped off right at the ground and ended up looking like this:

The only reason it didn't fall was because the lines to our house were holding it up. The nice guys from the electric company came out and put in some temporary supports and fixed the lines so we were only without power for 6 or 7 hours. A few days later, they came back and shut the power off again for a day so they could put in a whole new pole.

Then Friday night rolled around. We are on the edge of a flood plain, but our back yard slopes downward quite a bit so even with heavy rain for days on end, we've never seen water come anywhere near the house. It hasn't even reached our garden beds before.

But this storm brought us 7.5 inches of rain over a period of about 8 hours. Most of that happened in two big bursts. At one point, our rainfall rate was 3.5in/hr. So the water came up much higher than we've ever seen it

Our shed raised up off the ground quite a bit, but it was completely flooded. That blue barrel is a 55 gallon barrel that's sitting on 4x4s. The hills in the bottom of the picture are the rows we planted potatoes in last week.

The garden wasn't looking so hot:

The beds closest to the house seemed pretty okay, but the ones further back were completely under water.

The next morning, things were looking a little better. The water did drain out well. Unfortunately, it went right over/through the fence

And the water line on the girl's playhouse was pretty impressive:

Several of the garden bed frames got picked up and had some of the soil washed out from under them. This one got completely moved (there are/were onions planted in both of those beds):

Overall, it really wasn't so bad though. Most importantly, the house stayed completely dry. Josh had to spend quite a bit of time cleaning up out there yesterday. He got all the leaves and trash off the fence and he and the neighbor were able to fix it. I'm still not sure how well the things we had already planted in the garden are going to hold up with it being SO wet out there, but it looks like we won't lose as much as I thought we were going to when it first flooded. I have more respect for those real homesteaders who were depending on their garden to feed their family. Something like this could have been devastating for them. We also haven't had much cold weather this year. Between that and the rain, I think we might be facing fungal problems all spring and grasshoppers all summer. Shaping up to be a pretty challenging growing season!

I'm thinking we need to get more rain water collection barrels too. If the season is "in like a lion, out like a lamb", we may be sliding back into drought before too long.

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