Monday, September 20, 2010

Flood Aftermath Part 2: Tangles of Debris, Downed Trees and Broken Bridges

The flood left frightening tangles of debris along the southern edge of our property. It knocked over several trees and ripped a bunch of branches off of others. It also washed away part of the bridge that's at the southwest corner of our property, and left pieces of asphalt spread over our land. And as I was wandering around taking pictures of the damage, I noticed one piece of debris upstream from the bridge that I am very glad didn't make it down to our property.

A bunch of broken branches and a few whole trees washed downstream onto our land.

Part of someone else's welded wire fence and some fence posts got swept off of their property and onto ours.

Part of our fence, I think, that ended up further downstream on our property.

The flood waters were powerful enough to knock over several of the trees along the creek. Some trees weren't completely knocked down, but seem to be permanently bent over.

A small tree on the other side of the creek that was knocked down.

A couple of larger trees on our side of the creek that were knocked down. It looks like the flood just washed the land right out from under them. So... not only did the flood wash away our fence, it also washed away part of our "property".

These trees seem to still be alive, but even days later, they have not straightened up. I don't know if they ever will.

The flood also damaged the bridge at the southwest corner of our property. It is the only way into and out of the the back half of the neighborhood we live in. We're on the side that can still get in and out, but many of our neighbors were stranded for the duration of the flood.

You can see how many layers of black top were washed off of the the surface of the bridge on the upstream side.

Several large pieces of asphalt that the county so kindly left on our property even after they came out and "fixed" the bridge.

More pieces of asphalt spread along the corner of our property that we don't use because of the frequent flooding of that area.

The bridge was really badly designed. It's basically a solid dam of concrete with one large hole and three small holes for the water to go through. As long as there is not a heavy rain, it works well enough. But every time it rains heavily, the holes are simply not big enough to let all that water through. And then of course the holes get clogged with the debris that the flood is carrying and there is no where for the water to go except up over the bridge. AND onto our property. (The bank on the other side of the creek is much higher on the upstream side of the bridge, so all the water and debris comes onto our side of the creek.) If the bridge had been built properly and not like a glorified low water crossing, that corner of our property (which is NOT part of our pasture for obvious reasons) would not flood so often.

Admittedly this particular flood was not caused by the badly designed bridge. (Though I'm sure it exacerbated the problem.) This flood was caused by a combination of getting 12" of rain in 24 hours and the fact that the city and county have not been planning for drainage with all the new construction that they've been putting up all around us.

There is one positive note. At least this piece of flood debris did not make it downstream far enough to affect us.

Look closesly. See that large green cylinder. That's a forty foot(or so) silo that the flood knocked over. (BTW, that little trickle of water in the foreground is not the main creek. It's usually just a dry wash (natural ditch) leading to the creek.

I don't know where the silo originally came from, and who knows what will happen to it with the next flood, but hopefully, it will never make it past the bridge. Or maybe it will take out the bridge (without damaging our property) and then the county will finally have to build a proper bridge.

Any way, that's all for now. I know that I am about a week and a half behind on posting about the aftermath of the flood, but Foxfire and I have been spending almost every waking moment working to clear the debris and damaged fencing and then to re-build everything that was damaged or destroyed. My next post will probably begin describing the clean up and debris removal.

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