Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Deluge

Okay, it wasn't Hurricane Florence, but we just had the most intense rainstorm since I have lived here -- ten years, actually, if you count the time I was building the house. We've been through tropical storms that have dumped a lot of rain, but this was more rain in a short time than ever before.

I know because it washed down mounds of debris from the hill behind my house onto my lawn, which has never happened before. I know because the intermittent watercourse down that hill is flowing torrentially, and as far as I can remember it has never run at all before when the leaves are on the trees. It flooded so high at one point that it overtopped the culvert and ran over the driveway. The water even took a new it never has before, flowing from west to east behind the house and eroding part of the driveway. I'm going to have to rake up all that gravel from the lawn back up where it belongs, but no major damage and it's still passable.

My neighbor was not so lucky. His driveway has deep gullies and is barely passable. Another heavy rainstorm will wash it out. It doesn't help that he just had double bypass surgery and he can't exert himself. So I went over to the local paving supplier and got a ton of process, left the truck at his place where he's going to have a couple of kids come over and fill the gullies. I'm not even sure a half ton will be enough.

Anyway that's part of life out here, where lots of us have long gravel driveways on hill sides. We're basically in the bottom of the Shettucket river valley, which is one of those u-shaped valleys carved out by the glacier, and the road runs between the hills. And yes, part of the road washed out. I was impressed how quickly the town repaired it. I've had to rebuild parts of my driveway twice, but each time we've figured out how to harden it against the next episode. Last time I added a ditch and a culvert, and that part held up perfectly. My neighbor is going to have to build some water bars or this will just happen again. These road will always need maintenance, but with luck I at least won't get trapped, which I nearly was last time.

Climate change means more flooding rains, of course. We'll see how bad it gets.

* Actually the road material is called "process" a mixture of sand and clay, on top of stone.

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