Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Weather (not dead)

They say it never rains in Southern California. Actually it rains about every five years or so. And then it does it with a vengeance. I woke up about six this morning to pump out my backyard. I was just in time.

Pool equipment under water


See the pool equipment, which is usually found outside of a pool? Well, this morning it was about eight inches underwater. The pool itself had grown to encompass my entire yard, the drains being too overloaded to get the water out as fast as it was coming down. The pool could only take so much runoff before it overflowed. The water was at the foot of the french windows and just about to come inside.

My work place, which is up the Ortega Highway, was cut off all day, the road being closed due to mudslides and subsidence in both the western and eastern directions.

In San Juan Capistrano town, the creek didn't overflow, but did its usual trick. The creek walls are lined with huge concrete slabs. If the flow gets strong enough to start to eat away at the joins, it can get right behind the slab and just peel it off the wall and into the creek like peeling away a soaked label on a bottle. Once the concrete is gone, the soft dirt behind it is hollowed out in no time.

This is the creekbed just by the post office, a few hundred yards from City Hall.

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Here's a close up of the damage done once the slabs were torn off.

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And that's just a couple of days rain! By late afternoon workers had amassed a huge pile of boulders ready to be dumped into the breach, which will at least break up the flow and stop the creek eating the post office. Not to mention the city hall, which is where the emergency evacuation supplies are kept. Perhaps we need to keep them on higher ground? But not so high as to be on the Ortega Highway, the national unreachable wilderness highway?

1 comment:

Malia said...

I've been worried about you and your stucco. Especially after driving through 3ft of water over the road near Edwards and multiple detours due to washouts. Yesterday was a white knuckle day for everyone.

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