Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rain Day #6

It rained all night; this morning it started to turn to snow. It's been snowing all day, but it's wet, heavy snow. Don and I ventured down the mountain to Home Depot to get him some rain gear, and saw the bulldozers and plows at work at 4 different places.

Picture our town: we're in a long, narrow box canyon, with our main road (Valley of the Falls Drive) running through that canyon. It's crossed by numerous creeks and gullies - most of which stay dry most of the year. When it rains a lot, the first to blow out is Rattlesnake Creek - which brings mud and rocks down across the road. There are dozens of piles of this debris - some as high as 15 feet - wherever the bulldozers could put it.

The second to blow is the one above us - I don't know the name of the creek but it runs down Summit Drive, crosses Valley of the Falls, and then crosses Island Drive. Island is a dirt road that goes out to about 15 homes, and when the water and debris come down, a gully is cut out through the road that's about 3-5 feet deep. So the residents of Island Drive are cut off until the storm passes and the 'dozers rebuild their road.

The third spot to blow is Snow Creek, which once destroyed a home on Spring Drive and killed the woman inside. When it comes down hard, you can't cross it because it's between what we call the "double hump," and is running too fast.

The fourth is down near Lower Canyon Drive - and it seems to consistently be mostly mud. There's a couple large trucks parked across the street that are now up to the tops of their wells in mud.

The local amateur weather sleuth told us at the post office that so far, this storm has dumped TWENTY-THREE INCHES of rain on Forest Falls.  Our canyon faces west, so the storms coming in off the ocean and the Los Angeles Basin hit the San Bernardino Mountains, and just empty out. (That's why everything east of the mountains is desert.)

Mill Creek, looking upstream just below Mountain Home Village 

Mill Creek, looking downstream from just below Mountain Home Village. It's roaring through 4 different channels.

We're fine - and so glad that our home is built far enough away from Mill Creek and the larger side canyons.  We do have a small normally-dry creekbed behind our house that is now running, but it's deep and shouldn't cause any problems. On the news this morning, we saw some houses floating down the Virgin River in Mesquite, Nevada - this storm is hitting southern Nevada and Utah hard, too.


-Heidi said...

Good thing I read your blog. I didn't know about the flooding in Mesquite, NV. My parents live next to the Virgin River in Mesquite and I called right away to find out if they're okay. They didn't know about the flooding. They're now watching out for danger and are going to turn on the news. Thanks!

Sondra said...

I saw a house floating downstream on the news stay high and dry...Hope the RAIN STOPS!!

heyduke50 said...

really crazy weather out west...