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The Worst Rain I've Ever Experienced

ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9
December 6, 2018

There is a flood of water coming in through the front door. I have never seen a rain of this magnitude, ever. Lisa, Jeri, anyone else in the area, are you all okay?

Comments (23)
  • vaporvac

    Oh gee. I'd like to be flip and say when it rain it pours, but this is terrible. You need the rain, but it would be nice if you guys caught a break of some sort.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked vaporvac
  • jerijen

    Ingrid -- We're fine. But we ended with over 2 inches, and we haven't seen that much rain in one swoop in several years.

    The work my husband has done on the hillside, over the years, paid off, because there was no runoff at all, and every blessed bit of it soaked in.

    I hope the rain at your door did no real damage. We have ONE door -- to the basement (yes, we have a basement) -- which CAN flood like that, and we have learned to put sandbags down there, rather than risk wet dog food. If we are entering into a real El Nino year, you should do that next time. It's worth it.

    I gather that the Malibu area got a lot of rain, and the Coast Highway from there to Pt. Mugu is closed by rock/mudslides. (May Rindge was right. A road through The Malibu was a bad idea.) And there was some flooding further South.

    When it's all said and done, I hope your garden is happy.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked jerijen
  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    It's quite something. Our driveway is covered with mud and so is the paved road. I shudder to think what's happening in the areas where recent fires occurred. I feel so sorry for the wild animals and birds. Where can they go for shelter in this terrible downpour? I fear Mother Nature is not happy with us.

  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    I'm glad that things are okay at your place, Jeri. We do have sandbags but they need to be filled, and frankly in even the worst of rains have never experienced anything close to this. We need to keep up with the new normal, obviously.

  • Amanda Zone10Socal

    I was late to work because the drain to the street plugged up and flooded about 8” on one side of the house. After wading in and getting it cleaned out a couple times I was able to get it all drained out though. My chickens have been very upset. Remember like 2004 when it rained for a week straight and people were standing on their cars in the 101? This can’t have been worse than that right?

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Amanda Zone10Socal
  • comtessedelacouche (10b S.Australia: hotdryMedclimate)

    Oh my goodness - Ingrid and Amanda, so sorry for the disruption, mess and scariness, and do please take care. Ingrid I hope you and Cecil and Jason are managing to keep yourselves dry and safe. Perhaps a good thing you have some deep old tree roots around to help 'fix' that slope you're on. Surely it must be the middle of the night there?

    Jeri, how great your DH did all that work, and that all the planning and perspiration has paid off. How sensible you were to plan for just such weather events, and to be able to hold on to that precious water when it did finally come, for irrigation, rather than have it go to waste or worse. It's great when our 'big ideas' do actually work!

    Thinking of you all, once again, in California.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked comtessedelacouche (10b S.Australia: hotdryMedclimate)
  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    Thank you, dear comtesse, for your kind wishes. My husband had to put 16 towels in front of the door to keep more water from coming in, and I believe the storm system is moving away from us. There is quite a bit of flooding in one of the coastal cities near us, and people are saying they've never experienced anything this bad there. Amanda, I have a vague memory of that event in 2004, and my husband remembers having to make a necessary short trip and seeing five accidents along the way at that time. Unfortunately the water runoff system in southern California cities is not that good, probably because it doesn't rain much of the time, and the powers that be didn't want to spend the money, but that can be a problem at times like this.

  • Marlorena-z8 England-

    I feel I should be delighted that you got some much needed rain, and a decent amount, after all this time... I did wonder if you might ever suffer a touch of flooding as I thought part of your hardscaping slants towards your home and it might accumulate where you don't want it... I've had that happen in other places...

    It seems to have been so long I can hardly imagine you getting that much rain.. so I hope it hasn't been too disrupting and that you eventually appreciate the results it brings to your roses... I'm sure you will..

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Marlorena-z8 England-
  • Amanda Zone10Socal

    They’ve made a few improvements here and there though :p


    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Amanda Zone10Socal
  • jerijen

    We had real flooding here in (I'm thinkin' it was) 1994 -- when an El Nino winter followed fire on the hill above us. That's when we started re-working things so that we wouldn't have that happen again. Thus, we were able to rest easy through this rain, and have a lot of confidence for the winter-to-come, even if it is a true El Nino.

    Along the way, we've learned that in a pinch, a bag of mulch will make a reasonable "sandbag"

    Ingrid, you're right about things being tough on critters. A juvenile hawk landed on our huge old seedling avocado in the rain, with his feathers completely soaked. He was there for an hour and a half, trying to dry off.

    Before he left, two other hawks took shelter there.

    And, when we went out in the afternoon, after the rain stopped, we found that part of the local shopping center had flooded:

    It was quite a day, and we're glad it's over, for the present.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked jerijen
  • Lisa Adams

    Oh dear! I didn’t see your post until just now. I hope that things didn’t get worse after last posting. I had no flooding, but if I hadn’t had Josh put sandbags in front of the garage side door, I would have. I had to run to the pharmacy in the afternoon, and I couldn’t believe the amount of rain that came down in such a short period of time. The streets had rivers running down the sides! I’m sure many of you are accustomed to seeing that sort of thing, but we are not. There was even a bit of hail around 6 or 7pm. I slept the evening and night away, and only heard light rain a few times during the night. Everything is truly soaking wet this morning. I hope you didn’t have anymore problems Ingrid and Amanda. So CA is not equipped to deal with so much water at once. Lisa

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Lisa Adams
  • Lisa Adams

    Crossposted with you, Jeri. What incredible pictures of the hawks! What beautiful creatures they are. I trust they all dried off and flew away? Thanks for sharing these. I love seeing them, while feeling sorry for them at the same time. Lisa

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Lisa Adams
  • vaporvac

    Jeri, I'm only "liking" the hawks and the fact they your preparations paid off, NOT the flooding!

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked vaporvac
  • Amanda Zone10Socal

    It quit raining last night, after I drained out the yard it didn't fill up again thank goodness.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Amanda Zone10Socal
  • Amanda Zone10Socal

    Jeri I love those hawk pics!

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Amanda Zone10Socal
  • jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

    Sorry for the flooding,...

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.
  • jerijen

    Yes. The hawks dried out and flew away, but I was left with immense gratitude for the opportunities granted us to see such wonderful creatures.

    It's good to be reminded that there is still wild beauty in the world -- still.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked jerijen
  • Krista_5NY

    Ingrid, sorry to hear about the rain in your house... flooding is stressful. CA needs rain, but in amounts that don't cause flooding and mudslides.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Krista_5NY
  • Plumeria Girl (Florida ,9b)
    Jeri, those Hawks are amazing. You took great pics of them :)
    Ingrid, I am sorry you have to go through this. It is lots of cleaning up .
    You must be tired afterwards. I hope your roses will reward you well after the rain and cheer you up .
    jin
  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    I'm glad everyone stayed safe. Thank you all for your concern.

    Jeri, those pictures of the hawks are so beautiful they almost made me cry. Your photos showed them so clearly, those faces and gorgeous feathers. What a privilege to experience that.

    My shots are not nearly as pretty, but I'm grateful that it wasn't worse. I know not everyone was so lucky.


  • jerijen

    What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

    Minor storm damage and inconvenience points us toward ways to be sure this, or worse, doesn't happen again. Call me paranoid, but after those storms in the 90's, we HAVE used sandbags (or strategically stationed mulch bags) where we knew we would need them.

    It's only when you have storms like these that you learn the secrets of the way water flows on your land, so you can mitigate them.

    The nasty man who bought the house next door refused to listen to advice about that, and he has done some very, very stupid things. Call me vengeful, but I hope we get some bigger storms, and he reaps what he has sown. (It's not good to ignore Mother Nature.)


    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked jerijen
  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    So very true, Jeri, and in the larger scheme of things it was minor. This will motivate us to fill the empty sand bags that are sitting in the pantry. I'm so sorry that you have a nasty neighbor. That is a punishment you so do not deserve. I'll try to cast a spell and get him gone!

  • jacqueline9CA

    It is interesting how what is "normal" weather in one place can cause real trouble somewhere else, where things are not set up for it. We had snow and below freezing temps here for 2 weeks once (in the early 1970s!), and it was a mess. They had to drive snow removal equipment down from the Sierras, which took an entire day, and meanwhile many of the roads and freeways were closed. I was just out of college, and my new roommate was from NY, and she was irate: 1) "You told me it didn't snow here!" 2) "Where are the trucks which put salt on the roads?".

    Your flood made me think of that - 2 inches of rain here is cause for celebration - our minor flooding only happen after at least 6-8 inches of rain in one day. Bad flooding is rare, but the last time it was caused by rain which was dropping 6 inches AN HOUR for several hours in the very middle of the night.

    All new medium & large construction projects are required to put in "bio swales", which are basically planted areas set up so that they absorb most of the rain, and hardly any runs off. New driveways, etc. are required to be permeable to rain so it sinks in. My DH, a long time ago, worked on our ancient hardscape so that what did not get absorbed by the garden beds and lawns at least would safely run off to the storm gutters &drains along the street. Experiences result in action to prevent problems "next time", but if your next time is several years away, and the bad experience was really not that bad, human nature results in not doing anything about it.

    The recent earthquake in Alaska was an example of the experience being REALLY BAD (the 1964 quake which was a 9+). The recent 7ish quake caused no deaths and hardly any injuries, which was because they changed the building codes extremely after 1964 - in many places in the world (like the similar one which hit New Zealand a few years ago) the recent quake would have resulted in massive damage, and in some places very large loss of life.

    Jackie

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