Thursday, February 24, 2011

And the creek did rise

Friends on facebook know about our little adventure earlier this week. We had to go out to Sta. Rosa to take care of some business and while we were there the heavy rains caused the normally dry creek bed behind the house to become a raging river for the space of a couple hours. Thankfully we had our camera with us so we documented it -- in excruciating detail, but we're only sharing a few photos and one video here today :)

Many years ago when Arroyo El Portezuelo overflowed its banks after a similar heavy rainfall, my in-laws built a short wall along the back to keep the waters at bay. We were rather nervous on Tuesday, wondering whether the wall would be sufficient!
As you can see, the water came almost to the top of the wall. Much higher and it would have breached the wall and poured into the yard. Since the garage sits about a meter from that wall (and the house just a couple meters more), we'd have had serious flooding issues.

Here's a short video we shot:

To give you some perspective, I'm including three photos of the same place (our neighbor's clothes line), taken during the height of the creek flow, about an hour later and then the next morning.
the creek at its highest on Tuesday
 about an hour later, it's already receding
 Wednesday morning, flattened brush and grass the only evidence of the rushing water from Tuesday

Arroyo El Portezuelo lies dormant 99% of the year. Our neighbor's horses wander and munch on whatever they want back there, and there's always plenty with the grass and weeds growing several feet high. But every once in a blue moon, heavy rains in the low sierras just a few miles away are channeled through the creek and into the Santa Rosa River about a block away. Normally it doesn't rise this high, and we're just very thankful the wall was sufficient.

But as we contemplate putting up a new fence along the back, you can bet we're thinking about building that wall a little higher!


The Bug said...

Scary! They're calling for some flooding here (high rains expected tonight), but we should be ok where we live. Getting to work might be tricky - we'll see!

Betty said...

That really looked scary! I bet your neighbor was scared for her clothes staying there too, he?
Good thing it only lasted for a few hours.

rita said...

As the saying goes, "When it rains it pours."

skoots1mom said...

ohhhh, that made me nervous...that was fast water...with a lot of power.
so glad it receded!
i'd be considering a high wall, too.
that's the first time i've heard your voice, it! you sound much better on video than me with my slow drawl...
happy thursday; i'm eager to go pray w/ my girls 2night ;)

Mari said...

That was more like a river! Glad it stayed out of your yard.
PS - I loved hearing your voice.

Lhoyt said...

I remember one time when it did come into the yard, and right up to the back door. I'd go ahead with the seawall if I were you. It did bring back memories, though.