Raining and pouring

We had a downpour on Tuesday night which resulted in, amongst other things, our community hall being flooded.  This is for the second time in five years.  A combination of high tide and unusually high rainfall (10mm plus in 1 hour) meant that most of the flood plain of the river was being used.  A family of holiday makers who unaccountably had chosen to camp next to the graveyard (!) had to call out the emergency services at 4.30 in the  morning after the vehicle was surrounded by water and started to float.  It could have been worse, the only casualty was the vehicle.  A few residents have had water ingress through houses or barns on its way downhill.  We’re a bit higher up the valley but the river was higher that we’ve seen it in ten years.  Some trees beside the river have been damaged and some torn out.  The river was going in our pond at the top and coming out at the bottom, but we’ve got away with no major damage this time.  This sort of weather event may be more common in the future of course.  The other thing I noticed was erosion of the trackway down the hill to the orchard.  The buried watermain acts as an interceptary drain and the low point at which it overflows is about at the trackway.  It’s not been so bad since I repaired the burn bed, but in heavy rain it obviously still does divert a bit.  Something to bear in mind when S. does refinish the trackway.  Since the orchard is on a slope, and I’ve raised up the level for the trees, I don’t think it will be an issue for them.

DSCN2483
Grass caught on fence shows the flood level
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9 thoughts on “Raining and pouring

    1. I wonder whether I am an order of magnitude out on my figure? 4 inches in an hour seems almost unfeasible, but half inch doesn’t seem much. I don’t have a rain guage, the cat bowls were full at one and half, and people were saying they had full buckets that had been standing outside, which would be 12 inches or so.

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      1. J > We do have a guage which is accurate and reliable, even though home-made. We recorded in excess of 150mm over 24hrs, though we know it was all but dry for the first 12 hrs of that. Moreover, all the indications are – from the debris strewn incredibly high above streams – that there was a period of extreme intensity. From my days as a civil engineer and having to work with meteorological data, I can say that 100mm in an hour is not infeasible, but is likely to occur only very locally in a summer storm.

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  1. It is good that you are planting so many trees on your property. If your neighbours could do likewise, there would hopefully be a lot more protection from flooding and your orchard might not be so much on the front line!

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    1. Yes and no Helen. There was just so much rain in so short a time (looks like my figure may be an order on magnitude out?) debris was being washed down and blocking culverts so water was diverted where it shouldn’t. They do say that planting trees in upland areas helps protect from flooding, There are several areas around here that have been planted with trees over the last twenty or so years, not mature by any means yet, but coming on. Maybe it would have been even worse without them.

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      1. Yes, it would possibly have been worse without them, although if there are other issues, such as blockages, that brings addition problems and concerns, of course!

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    1. Yes, it doesn’t seem to have eroded anything significant though. I haven’t found anyone locally yet that took a rain measurement that night, but anecdotally on the outer isles they think they had 8 inches overnight! (full buckets etc.)

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