Thursday, April 28, 2011

Flooding Nails Me.

My property is washing away.

Up here in St. Albans, we've had over the past couple of days the most intense spring rainstorms in memory, and there's lots of flooding going on. A flash flood came out of nowhere Tuesday night and swept across my lawns, gardens and driveway, really causing some damage.

Flash flooding across my yard almost took out
this spruce tree
As I write this a day and a half later, a new batch of severe storms is sweeping in, and will surely compound the problems.

I can't complain, of course. I just got a little taste of the horror and destruction from what is probably the worst April storm in the nation's history. Close to 100 people have died in 200 tornadoes and incredibly flash floods, mostly in the South and Midwest.

But of course that same vast storm struck Vermont, just not as severely, thank gawd, as elsewhere.

I got home from work Tuesday evening in a thunderstorm. The storms kept waxing and waning, but kept up continuously for hours. Sometimes we'd get a tremedous gust of wind. Sometimes a little hail, then booming thunder.

Things got out of hand around 9:30 p.m. A tremendous rush of rain hit, more intense than I've seen in a long time. Then the hail started banging down. Tons of it, mostly dime size or smaller, but some nickel sized.

Watch the video of my deck to see for yourself:

Once the hail subsided, I went outside with a head lamp because I heard the brook roaring like I'd never heard it before. I wanted to see if the culvert holding my driveway up was intact. It sort of was, but it looked threatened.

As I stood in the darkness, lightning flashing around and thunder booming across the valley, I heard the sound of rushing water and rolling rocks up the hill to my left. I turned and saw a foot high wave of water, with a tangle of branches and rocks in it, headed straight at me. I got out of the way just in time as it rushed through.

The flash flood lasted less than a half hour, but by the time it was done, the embankment near my driveway slipped down the hill, there was a major washout that almost killed one of my spruce trees and my lawn was a mess of mud, branches and rocks, some the size of bowling balls.

All things considered, this is a minor inconvenience, not a disaster. But I'm so behind on work this year that this will delay me further.

But every time I start whining like that I remember.  I suffered no mega disaster like so many people across the country had this spring.

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