Saturday, March 3, 2012

Another Flood

The back end of a severe storm system arrived just in time to allow a few minutes of sunlight before sundown.  I watched the storm track across the radar for 60 miles in a direct line towards our house, while the local TV meteorologist gave reports of funnel clouds and tornadoes on the ground.  Electricity was lost when the storm was still eight miles out, so I watched for storm clouds from the window.  When the approaching rainwall blocked all from sight, I told my wife we’d best adjourn to the cellar.  While hail pounded on the outside cellar door, the emergency radio reported a tornado on the ground in the vicinity of the small town just down the road.  A few minutes later, things calmed down and we headed up stairs.  The storm had lasted less than ten minutes.

The ten minute rain event dropped 1.2 inches of water.  That’s a lot of water to put someplace it’s not going to stay.  The ground was still saturated from the 2.0 inches we got two days ago, so every drop of this new accumulation ran overland to the creeks.  A massive amount of water routed through the pond.  That water to the right of the picture has all moved through the pond spillway.  The storm was still producing some impressive lightning at this point, so I took these photos from the house window.

There was a strong current running through the center of the pond.  A string of organic debris snaked around the shrubs and shot through the spillway.  It’s fortunate that the frog eggs are well anchored to the shrubs.  At least during the times I was able to hear anything other than the storm, the Wood Frogs continued calling right through the event.

I’m glad I had this area mowed.  With standing grass, I’d have never seen how wide the flood waters can get through this section. 

No one ever explained to the deer the hazards of playing in flood water.  While looking at this, I imagined what was happening down in the creek.  Dark was fast approaching, so there was no time to go down to see the flood water.  I’ll wait a few days to let things dry out before going down to survey the flood damage.  I doubt it’s going to be pretty.

The violent storms are the ones most likely to present you with a rainbow at the end.  It’s a nice little touch, but it doesn’t always make up for what you endured during the storm.  Watching the radar track of the approaching storm was particularly troubling.  Each time the radar plotted a new position for the possible tornado, I thought of the people I knew who lived in that area. I pictured their families, homes, barns and businesses and hoped that I wouldn’t be hearing later that any of that was lost.  I was surprised when our electric came back on after only a few hours.  The emergency radio had reported three separate tornadoes touching down within the boundaries of our local Rural Electric Cooperative, so I was imagining the possibility of many miles of lines down.  Hopefully everyone else came through the storm as well as I did.


  1. Hi Steve..Good to hear that all is ok with you!!
    Terrible what is going on down there...I am thankful for!!
    Okay now that is some serious water ..hope you home is up high ; ], and there is not a lot of damage...glad the frogs took it well lol!
    That is a pretty site that last photo!!

  2. Hi Grace. Our house sits on a hill, so there are no worries about being covered by water. Beneath the house is the 140 year old cellar from the original farm house that burned down about 40 years ago. The rain was so heavy that several springs developed in the cellar walls and we spent our time watching streams flow across the floor toward the drain.