Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Texas (Alabama) Flood

Well, I think our drought is over. We are now in the midst of widespread flooding. I know I've not lived in this area very long but I've never seen the water anywhere near this high before. This is next to my drive, down near the road. You can very vaguely see my truck in the upper, left hand corner. The water is almost up to the drive. Well, in fact, during the night it did cross the drive because there was leaves and stuff stuck about a foot up on my gate.
This is normally 2 distinctly separate creeks. You can't really tell but the water is rushing at a torrential rate.

Three wet weather creeks popped up around the house. I knew when I got up this morning and heard rushing water that something was wrong. I looked out the window and saw water all around the house. Of course, my house is way too high up to be in danger but a little water was getting in my basement. I decided to stay home because we don't have a lot of dry area to work in right now and figured there would probably not be much going on. I'm glad I stayed home because it got much worse later in the afternoon. I ran a couple of errands in town about lunch time and when I got back I got to looking at stuff. It pissed me off that the water was running around the house like that. Now, most of the wetness in the basement is my own fault because I have just never taken the time to waterproof and back fill certain areas. I kept putting it off because there have just been more pressing things to do and getting a little water in the basement is actually not that big a deal because it is not completely sealed up yet. But still. So, I got a pick and shovel and the wheelbarrow and went to work. Fortunately, I had a good stack of concrete block also. I worked for several hours in the pouring rain. I had to get the water diverted away from the house. My brothers at work would be disappointed in me if I let this little bit of water whip me. Fortunately also, it has been rather warm lately so I didn't really get cold until the sun started to go down. But I had won; at least for now. The great thing about rushing water is that once you start it in a new direction, it starts digging it's own path. You just have to help it out a little bit.

I thought several times during the ordeal, usually after I had just sprayed mud in my face, why in the hell did I build here? But, this is the land I was provided with so you use what you've got, you know. There would just be other problems if I had built somewhere else. The culvert closest to the house could not handle the amount of water going through from the creek that formed in the very bottom of the valley, so the water started flowing across the drive. It washed a couple of trenches in the gravel but nothing too bad. There is a lot of stone and sand in that driveway so I think it will be OK. As soon as it dries out around here I'm going to see if I can borrow a machine from the company and do some serious landscaping just uphill of these creeks. I need to dig a new slew to shoot the water out across the front yard. It shouldn't be too much trouble with a backhoe.

The road right next to the driveway did not fair so well. It has started to fail and collapse. The county just let a bunch of very heavy debris pile up in front of the culverts, which are like 4 feet in diameter each, and the creek started clogging it up. Allen has been going down to the county for the past 4 weeks, telling them this was going to happen but they just ignored him, I guess. We noticed this morning that the ground was starting to fall away from the road and a large hole open up, so he went back down there. This time they sent someone out to look and within 30 minutes they had a crew out here pulling the debris out. They cleared the openings but the dirt continues to fall away from under the road. I walked down and talked to the guys and they said just as soon as the rain let up they would have to just rework the whole bridge. I hope they do and don't put it off again. The guy I talked to seems quite aggravated that they had not been told this was happening. But we tried. He told me the name of who to call directly the next time we had a problem.
So, if I don't get washed away I'll be back soon, hopefully to post on further progress of the house.
Edit to add: You cannot see now but there are 2 long telephone poles and a couple of sections of tree trunks down there. When the county came and cut the trees back they just let the limbs and trunks fall into the creek against the culverts. It required a backhoe and blocking the road to clear these objects.
*with apologies to Stevie Ray Vaughan


Anonymous said...

wouldn't it have just made more scene and been less time consuming to move the debris from the culvert then to nag government workers? that bridge going out could cost someone there life. I am sure you can always find a use for free wood or compost materials. Even folks waiting for hand outs in New Orleans were smart enough to keep culverts and drains clear of debris. By not taking the time to move some debris you have cost the government (you and me) more money and potentially put other peoples life in danger.

please choose to be a good citizen.


edifice rex said...

Hello Abaratar, though I am quite strong and capable, even I cannot move two 16' telephone poles that had fallen down over the openings of the culverts nor stop the tons of dirt that had slid down before the rain ever started. If I had a backhoe I could have but I don't always have one of those sitting around. The government and their workers are there because of our tax money and for the purpose of maintaining our roads. I mean, there is a whole department for road maintenance and they have the heavy equipment needed for the repairs on this bridge; which were needed well before the rain. They came out back in the summer and cut the asphalt and did some half-assed repairs so they knew the road was failing. This was not something the authorities were not aware needed fixing and such repairs are in their scope of work, not mine.
You might also want to learn to spell correctly in order to make future suggestions carry more weight.

karl said...

wow, it looks pretty crazy there. i'm glad you won the defense against the onslaught of your home. great job.

i wonder if abaratar has his own blog with people telling him how to live his life. probably not, most people like that stand on the sidelines queued to complain about others and never actually do anything themselves.

he's a smug a-hole making passive aggressive "please choose to be a good citizen" statements. i'm sorry he commented there.

just ignore that freak and have a happy new year.

Pablo said...

This post makes me thirsty.

Woody said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ed Abbey said...

When it rains, it pours!

countrypeapie said...

The creek near our house was higher than I've ever seen it, too. Working in the rain is never fun. A guy brought us some free firewood yesterday, and his truck got stuck next to the chicken coop. He and my husband were out there for three hours, trying to get the truck unstuck. Best of luck in keeping this onslaught of water away from your house! (And by the way, back in November, I voted yes on the very small additional annual fee that would have gone towards better county road maintenance. Apparently not many other people agreed with me.)

(Is there a setting that allows you to block Anonymous commenters? Cuz that was just nutty.)

Richard said...

It hasn't rained 40 days and nights yet but you might start thinking about an ark..:-)

Floridacracker said...

What a weenie abaratar.

Did he miss the part where you worked all day in the rain to protect your own property?

Ya did fine... as usual Annie.

Anonymous said...

Abaratar....Pffffffft! Karl said it all LOL

Have you installed or planning on installing rainwater tanks ER? Or even a dam for water catchment....ooo, if you had a dam you could fill it with marron (like a fresh water crayfish, or lobster I think you mad lot call them) then eat fresh whenever the fancy took you lol

MyamuhNative said...

Sorry about all the water in the wrong place.
I'm guessing though, that your inconveniences today working around the house and hounding those slacker road guys will save you from a bigger unwelcome surprise at a later date.

And I vote for a pond too!

edifice rex said...

Hey karl! Well, I guess I won; I still had a bit of water in the basement but I imagine it would have been much worse had I not diverted the water.
Even though I let people like that have their say, I do ignore them. You can't really pass judgement on somebody 'til you been there.

Hey Pablo! Made me thirsty too! But I got my fill of water.

Hey Ed! Yeah, it has! Feast or famine!

Hey Peapie! Man, I hate to hear about the truck getting stuck; I know that messed your yard up good.
I have worked in the pouring rain so much I guess I'm kinda used to it, as long as it's not cold.
Yeah, what this county won't pass just astounds me sometimes.
Well, I could block anon comments but I kinda hate to do that. I think even the nuts should have some say as long as they don't get threatening or nasty.

Hey Richard! Boy, tell me about it!

Hey FC! Thanks sweetie!

Hey Molly! Yeah, I thnk Karl is right.
I mentioned to Allen once about getting rain barrels and he looked at me like I was nuts (as usual) and said, "well, what do you think that spring is?" While I do have to use electricity to pump the water out of the ground, the springs are in essence a rain cistern. The water runs through the mountain and flows back up through my spring. So, it's kinda just like I "borrow" the water. Filter it, use a little and send it back in the ground. I have thought about this a lot and have wondered can I conserve water any more? I don't know. Would it help it any to catch it before it soaks in the ground? I'm going to get it in a day or two anyway.
I have thought about buiding a small dam in the spring creek, because the water is very cold, and use it to raise trout or something similar. But if another flood happened it would wash everything away, so it would have to be uphill some. Oh, I don't know! If I could raise oysters or squid I'd do it!! Yum!!!

Hey Mya! Hopefully it will! the road guys that came out were real nice and concerned; it was the beauracrats that we had to go through that were the buttholes.

Hey Woody! You are so funny; I laughed my head off. You remind me of the guys I work with. It wasn't a bad comment though; I didn't think it warranted removal.

Woody said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
edifice rex said...

Hey Woody! I understand. I think you are safe though; that guy is in Colorado ;). I'm pretty sure I know who it is.
I read his blog occasionally (although never comment) but the other day I tried to nicely express concern over him using pine exclusively in his wood stove. I didn't think maybe they can't get other types of wood in that area. He's worked very hard on his house and had a couple of small setbacks, so I would hate to see something happen to what he has built, you know. But I guess he took offense and came over here just to jump on me and try to make me feel bad. I'll learn one day to keep my mouth shut to those types!

Maya said...

Wow, looks like we are sharing weather despite being over 2,500 miles from each other. I hope that all of your work today eliminates any potential damage. We're in the midst of some pretty serious flooding here too - our main interstate has been shut down because of rivers overflowing a bit south of here. A few pics here http://www.komonews.com/news/local/37289544.html

edifice rex said...

Hey Maya! Yeah, I was watching the weather channel this morning and they were talking aobut all the flooding ya'll are having from the snow melting and more rain. I hope you and Gary are fine and those cute chickens don't get washed away!
goodness, I've never seen a major highway shut down because of water, I don't think! Things are not too bad here today. Thankfully it has stopped raining and the creek level has dropped considerable.

edifice rex said...

Man! Those pictures are something Maya! that is far worse than what it is here. We had a couple of roads washed out and some homes flooded but nothing like that.

Sissy said...

Just wanted you to know I've been reading your blog for several days now(put in favorites)and enjoying following it so very much. I really admire your stamina, talents, abilities! Just amazing. I envy you all your energy as I use to have it also. I have enjoyed reading others' blog you have posted on your site. You all are just having a great time living! Go, Go,Go and keep on going - just like the energizer batteries! Soon this yucky cold and muck will pass BUT then comes the swelter.


edifice rex said...

Hey Sissy! Glad to have you visit and I appreciate your kind words so much. thanks for your encouragement. Comments like yours help me to keep going and keep a good attitude! Hope you continue to enjoy the blog.