We survived "The Monster Storm"

My dear friend, Holly, of many years over at 2 Kids and Tired left a comment on my recent post mentioning "The Monster Storm" that hit the West Coast of North America last week wondering how we were doing. Then Jodi at bloomingwriter left a similar comment and so did Yolanda Elizabet at Bliss.

In response to Holly's comment I wrote her an email back. Then I realized that I should post it here to give everyone an update. Can you say, "Duh!" ??? All the rain must have gotten into my brain.

Anyway... here's the latest...

There's been flooding all over the place here in the San Francisco Bay Area with some horrible damage from the hurricane-force winds (big trucks were tipped over on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge). Some people are still without power and have been for days. Luckily, we are not in that group. Also fortunately, over the last 7 years we've taken lots of preliminary measures to prevent flooding here at Rosehaven Cottage during major storms such as this was.

Since we live in the low spot of our street with it going uphill in both directions, we and our next door neighbors get everyone's water. That's why years ago, long before we moved here, the county put in a three storm drains right along the property line between both houses--front, middle, and back. I have spent the last seven of winters figuring out how the water flows through our yard during heavy storms and then creating a drainage system of hidden drains, artificial aquifers, and arroyos as well as a pond. Each successive year as I refine and improve the whole system, we have less water flood in our crawl space (sometimes it was up to a foot of water!). With "The Monster Storm" as bad as it was, I am so happy that we had no standing water flooding our crawl space. I must be doing things right!

Originally, the pond was born out of the flooding problem in our garden. The first January we lived here, I watched one area of the garden never drain properly so I got out there with a shovel and started digging. When I finally stopped digging I had a 1,200 gallon pond! In storms like this, the pond acts as a catch basin for flooding with some spillways on the backside to prevent overfilling. The spillways flow into an arroyo of river rock that leads to the back storm drain.

I feel very blessed, because the I've always received promptings when I need to do something to prepare for a storm, along with inspiration for exactly what to do. In 2005, the kept feeling strongly that we needed to remove the patch of concrete right in front of our garage door and fill the area with pea gravel. We did. And a couple of months later, we had a huge New Year's storm that flooded a lot of our town and our neighbor's homes. Our garage would have been flooded ruining all the tools and building supplies we have stored in there. I feel very blessed to have this gift that helps us stay safe.

The weekend of this New Year the weather forecast said we were in for three big storms in a row. I had the same prompting to prepare and how to prepare. I took advantage of the sunny days leading up to the storm and went out to sledgehammer more concrete off the old 20'x20' pad that was part of a defuncted lanai structure that I've been dismantling since August. I used the concrete blocks to shore up the arroyo that runs to the back storm drain. I was glad I put in the extra work a couple of days ago, because it really helped prevent flooding through the redirection of water. And the reenforcement with the concrete blocks was absolutely necessary to prevent flood erosion as the water poured through the steep banked arroyo.

So although we are not "high and dry" as Jodi's well wishes hoped, we are "low and dry". And dry is a good thing.





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14 comments:

  1. Promptings are so good, aren't they? The Lord blesses us in so many ways, and temporal as well as spiritual blessings come when we listen. I'm glad that you're ok and that Rosehaven is as well! We got your rain, but it came as snow...

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  2. I am so glad you are doing well,
    Thanks for everything~!!!
    promptings are truly good:>

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  3. Your drainage in your garden was very well planned. Glad you weren't affected by the storm.

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  4. That's a relief, Cindy. What I'd read and seen on the news had me concerned for you. I like your enthusiasm--digging a hole that turned into a pond of that size! I think I need a nap just thinking about it. Glad you're low-and-dry.

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  5. That was one heck of a storm! We were without power on Friday and a lot of branches but I feel blessed when I see the devastation.

    Glad you are ok too!

    Michelle

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  6. I heard about that big storm. I am glad you are staying dry!

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  7. Glad you were able to divert the water and you are safe and dry!

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  8. Cindy glad that every thing it okay in your area. Been watching TV what is going on with those twisters, the climate is really changing around. Thanks for the update, Anna :)

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  9. Cindy, it sounds like you're on the right track and very clever and ambitious with making changes to your property. If you lived closer, maybe I'd hire you as a landscaping consultant!

    I'm very glad you were not flooded and subject to loss or damage!

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  10. Glad you are no worse for wear and doing well!!
    Blessings,
    Robin

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  11. Oh no, not you, too! It's a real challenge being at the low spot when the rains hit!

    We're at the bottom of a hill and are at wits end how to control the down pours. We think we've done about everything possible with a pond, stream beds, drains, trenches ... is there anything more?

    Erosion, mud and horses shut in the barn is what we deal with.

    I say next time we'll live at the top of the hill, but then we all know those houses end up at the ... bottom of the hill.

    Oh, well ... now it's back out to more clean up work.

    If you know the magic answer ... pass it on to us!

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  12. Glad to hear all at Rosehaven Cottage are ok. I haven't been on the computer for a couple of days, so I didn't really know what's been happening. I heard on the news last night and today about all the storms in America. It's awful. We used to live on a slight hill but it was a long hill and all the houses had steps or ramps down to the houses, so if people weren't on alert the houses would be flooded. I once lost Tia during a storm. I had let her out in the morning but when the unexpected storm came in the afternoon, I went out looking for her. I couldn't find her anywhere, the water was quickly flooding the garden, the field was waterlogged and when I headed towards the farm where she usually went, the river between the field and the farm was raging. Thankfully, Tia turned up after a few hours safe but very, very wet and cold. Fortunately, Mum kept the drains as clear as possible, so we weren't flooded but a neighbour down the road wasn't so lucky and needed a lot of help shifting the water from the ground floor of his house. What made it worse was all the sewage that came up from the sewage systems. Everyone was ill for a week. Anyway, I hope it doesn't get any worse and hope the people get power soon. All the luck in the world, from Meg and cats xxx

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  13. It was good to hear that you weren't flooded. Hopefully, you won't have any more horrible weather this winter.

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  14. Dry is a very good thing! I'm low and dry too, very low as in several meters below sea level so I really appreciate the value of being dry.

    Excellent work in your garden Cindy, gravel is so much better than concrete for water management.

    I'm reliefed to read that you all are OK.

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