Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Well, we needed the rain

The first major storm of the season blew in today, complete with heavy rain and wind advisories. It rained all day long. California has been in a drought for, I dunno, 7 years? We really did need the rain. Plus, we'd had unseasonably high temperatures into September. We were all ready for cooler weather. But the collateral damage has been... interesting.

My mother, the gardener, used to refer to the branches and leaves stripped from the vegetation during a storm as "Mother Nature's pruning."

Mother Nature pruned with a buzz saw and a bulldozer this time.

We live in oak savanna. Rolling hills, studded with coast live oak, blue oak and valley oak. All of these trees are protected by law. You practically need an Act of Congress to remove one. But they are brittle. They don't really bend in the wind.

During this storm, Mother Nature did a number on the oaks. Our next door neighbors lost a large branch from the live oak in the front yard; luckily, it didn't hit the house. Driving in our neighborhood was an obstacle course of downed branches and debris. Trees were down at the park, and I saw Asst. Fire Chief Hewitt, standing in the rain and wind, directing traffic away from work crews dealing with the fallen trees.

The worst we heard about was some good friends who had oak branches come down on their house and crushed the main beam, destroying their living room and forcing the family out. They are looking at 2 to 3 months of repair before their home is again livable.

We lost power here in Mayberry for a couple of hours. The whole town was dark and all the local businesses gave up and closed. As I drove about town, I dodged branches, road construction signs and garbage cans that had blown into the street. There was also lots of flooding, which was hard to see ('cause what street lights we have weren't working) until plumes of water were flying. I saw the employee parking lot of the Trader Joe's emptying like rats abandoning a sinking ship. Luckily, I had made most of our dinner before the electricity went out. Miles and Cameron grilled chicken on the gas BBQ, and we dined by candle light. Cam and the little girls had a blast with flashlights, and Claire made a groan of disappointment when the light came back on.

Frog Creek, the seasonal stream behind our house has been dry since last March. It's over flowing it's banks now.

I guess this is a fabulous example of "be careful what you wish for."

1 comment:

  1. Checked our neighbor's rain gauge. 4.25 inches of rain!