Rain, Rain, Go Away!

The average high for our area is around 70 degrees for the month of May, and the average rainfall is less than half an inch.

The last two weeks would like to spit in the face of those averages! It has done nothing but rain and be chilly. I’d say our highs have been closer to 60ish, and I have no idea how much rain we’ve gotten, but we’re saturated. Today is the first day in over two weeks where no rain is forecasted and the temps are actually supposed to be above normal. It’s really nice outside, but I haven’t seen the sun in so long that I have an almost vampire-ish reaction to the sunlight. (HIIIIISSSSSSSS)

So, what’s this got to do with JHR? Drainage, of course! Jeremy mapped out where our abundance of water is coming from. We basically have two streams coming down from either side of a mountain behind the house. One empties into the existing stream bed, and the other empties into our side yard and goes down the driveway (slowly destroying both in the process). I raised the question “Why didn’t the previous owners do anything about this second stream?” which Jeremy answered with “They most likely didn’t get the same amount of rain we’ve been getting these last few years.” You know, because global warming and stuff.

So, enter our recent ditch digging efforts. Jeremy has cleared out a good sized ditch near the bottom of the driveway that empties into (one of the) streams where it meets the road. I’ve been working on digging around the house. We haven’t been able to really test our work until the rains started, and even then, we needed enough rain for the streams to start running again. We finally got our chance this weekend. The results: we’re on the right track!

We woke Friday morning to a steady rain that finally tapered off. My ditch near the house wasn’t quite far enough to direct the water towards the back, so it wasn’t doing a whole lot of good at that time. I grabbed a shovel and decided that I was going to create some sort of path for the water or die trying. Even though I had to fight the mud and rocks, it was pretty easy to get a small waterway carved and get the water moving.

Now the water can go into the stream bed or around the back. Obviously it isn’t near done, but I got more done in those 30 mins of digging in the mud than in hours of digging dry dirt. I need to widen and deepen the ditch and I plan to line it with rocks. Maybe I should just go dig some more when it rains again…

Jeremy’s big ditch was also helpful, but we had to do a bit of emergency water directing a bit uphill from it. Here’s hoping we can keep the water from spilling over into the driveway again. He plans to fix the grading and to add a small trench right down the middle.

That’s the new ditch on the left, and the stream it empties into on the right. Unfortunately, there is no culvert under the main road here, so in the past this stream has done quite a bit of damage to the road. They just added lots of road base and the main road is super nice now, and I’d hate for it to be damaged again. We were informed that there were plans to add culverts, and hopefully fix/improve existing culverts. No ETA on that yet.

We need to get our drainage issues squared away so we can finally fix the driveway, and more importantly, start work on an awesome yard! Yay! More dirt moving in my future! Can’t wait!

Oh! And here’s a shot of Jackalope Creek roaring away! You can’t beat the sound of a running stream!


So We Got A Bit Of Rain

I had never heard of an “atmospheric river” until we moved up here. According to the NOAA:

“Atmospheric rivers are relatively long, narrow regions in the atmosphere – like rivers in the sky – that transport most of the water vapor outside of the tropics. These columns of vapor move with the weather, carrying an amount of water vapor roughly equivalent to the average flow of water at the mouth of the Mississippi River. When the atmospheric rivers make landfall, they often release this water vapor in the form of rain or snow.”

So, it’s basically a river in the sky, and of course what goes up, must come down, right? When one of these sky rivers comes our way, we know to be ready for wind and rain, and lots of both. Last year we had quite a few (the wind was scary even for me who likes the crazy wind), and this plus the large amount of snow we got last year helped our drought immensely. This year, eh, not so much. We had rain in November I think, and hardly any snow.

Enter March! We’ve had a few small bouts of snow, but last weekend, we woke up to a foot-plus of the fluffy white stuff. Finally! And then it melted- fast. Usually the snow here melts super slow, but this year it’s as if we were back in TN and it melts almost as fast as it accumulated. So now the ground was completely saturated and the creek was flowing, and then the sky river moved in. I woke up Thursday to this:


As the kids would say, “R.I.P. driveway.” There are three pipes running under driveway right here, but we were unable to unclog the third. Still, good grief. I’d say it’s about 4 ft deep in the middle, and it was MOVING. Needless to say, the driveway is in horrible shape. On the plus side, though, the ground is so rocky here that only parts of the driveway are mush, other parts are very rocky, though not always small rocks.

To make a long story short, we have some pretty big drainage issues. We need to figure out these issues and then fix the driveway. We also need to come up with a plan for the culverts down along the road, but that is going to involve working with the neighborhood association, because they need to fix culverts and pipes on their end. Sadly, I don’t see that happening anytime soon, because since this past storm has done quite a bit of damage, they’ve already got their work cut out for them during the dry season.

My plans for the side yard include a ditch to divert the water around the house and into the creek, but that doesn’t solve all of our issues. I am, however, looking forward to not having a sizeable lake where I usually take the dogs out…