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.