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The road cut in half by swift running water.

Earlier this week, I only worked Monday and Tuesday, I had an unexpected “vacation” after that. On my way home Tuesday, I passed through a storm, a heavy storm with lots of lightning, hail and rain. I was able to get ahead of the storm and got home safely. About an hour later, the skies opened up, it poured in buckets, the hail, some as big as golf balls bashed everything in sight. I went out on the covered porch and moved the solar panels, I tilted them away from the prevailing wind, it’s not 100% guarantee of protection, but it’s better than nothing. The other bank of solar panels that are fixed in place, we have placed heavy concrete wire over the top and weaved 2 layers of bird netting through the concrete wire. It does create the tiniest bit of shade over the panels, but it has also protected them from damage from hail on more than one occasion.

The creek at the bottom of the property was flowing at flood stage, the water was coming over my neighbor’s bridge by a good foot and a half. We had wave after wave of heavy rain fronts passing through at half hour intervals. We had already had 4 days of good rain so the ground was saturated and the water had no where to soak in.

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The dogs inspecting what was left of the road…

The rain eventually stopped during the night, we mopped up as best we could and went to bed. The following morning was really eye opening, it was clear that we weren’t going anywhere, and neither was anyone else out here. The roads were devastated, gone in some areas. We have over 70 miles of unpaved roads in mountainous terrain in the neighborhood, we have many many low water crossings. The creek, which is dry much of the year, meanders across the road as you go out. Most of the time when it rains, you might have to drive through a few inches of water, this time, the roads were washed out, large basketball sized rocks (some larger) were left in the way, there were places where you couldn’t see what was below the water, whether it was more rocks or a hole that might bury your vehicle.

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Our neighbor’s bridge.

We were stuck in for 3 days, some of our neighbor’s farther down the road from us were stuck in 4 days. Other neighbors were stuck out, they had gone out and couldn’t get back in. Fortunately my little community pulls together in a crisis and 30+ volunteers came out to work on the roads, some with heavy equipment, others with hand tools. My road was hit the worst so they worked our road first.

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Another part of the neighborhood…

Fortunately most of the folk living out here are aware of the possibility of being stuck in (or out) for days or even weeks at a time, it doesn’t happen often, but it pays to be ready for the possibility. My question to you is if you were not able to leave your house for the next 3 days, or week or longer, how long would you be able to survive? How much food and other necessities do you have? Even if it isn’t your favorite foods, you can easily have a stash of emergency food to last a week (or longer). Some rice, noodles, something quick to fix, maybe even something that doesn’t require refrigeration or much (if any) cooking.

Go look in your kitchen right now, how much food is there? If you couldn’t go out to the store, could you stay in for a few days or a week, how about longer? If your kitchen stash is looking grim, then it’s time to get things looking better, you don’t have to do it all at once either, grab an extra few supplies each time you go shopping and put them up.

Fortunately for us it lasted less than a week, we did just fine, we were also fortunate that during those few days, the power didn’t go out in the neighborhood, and our internet stayed on, of course we are all solar powered, if the power goes out in the neighborhood, we still lose our internet, so all in all, I’d say this one was a mild emergency compared to other ones we have gone through.

Here is a video of the water moving through the rocks, remember we live in the desert, so we don’t normally have water like this moving through.




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