Monday, December 13, 2010

God Willing, and the River Don't RIse

So, yesterday afternoon while I was working away at the desk, buried deep in deadline, the phone rang. Answering it, I found it was the Kent automated Flood Warning system, calling to tell me we had just entered Flood Watch Stage Two. A few minutes later my cell phone rang with the same message, and not long after that they sent me an e-mail to the same effect. So, good news that the system works, but what about Stage One?

Checking the information on the website, I confirmed that this was no cause to panic, though certainly time to pay attention. Essentially Stage One just means the river is high and they're keeping an eye on it. Stage Two means there might be some flooding up near the river's headwaters the other side of Auburn. Still, I went downstairs and made sure all the cat carriers were easy to get at and took a few similar precautions, just in case.

Then this morning came another round of calls at seven a.m., this time to tell me the river had reached Stage Three. Which means that areas that flood when there's a ton of rain, like a stretch alongside a pumpkin patch on the West Valley Hwy south of Kent, are either flooding or probably soon will. Still no reason to panic, but time to pay close attention.

Luckily, we're not at Stage Four, which is where things get bad -- that is, somewhere a levee cd give way and things cd really get wet. Having made a side-trip to check on the river a few miles downstream of us when running an errand this afternoon, I cd see it's v. high and it wdn't take much more rain like what we've been having to fill it the rest of the way to the top. It was interesting to watch the little rafts of brush, the occasional log, and twice what must have been a small tree all go sailing past, and at a good clip too.

So here we are, still safe and warm and dry, so long as we stay inside. And outside, after the brief sunshine of late morning, it's raining again. Tomorrow I'll check the river closer to home, perhaps by the Neely-Soames House, and see how we're doing.

--John R.


grodog said...

Stay safe, John, and enjoy your holidays---and may they remain dry, dry, dry! :D


Wurmbrand said...

Your sentence about watching things float by reminded me of (1) similar descriptions in Lovecraft's "Whisperer in Darkness" & then Blackwood's "The Willows," and (2) my own observations of flooding in the Red River Valley in North Dakota. Which might not be all that encouraging of a comment! I hope all goes well.

John D. Rateliff said...

Well, this morning there weren't any calls, and the rain hasn't gone on all day, quite (Janice saw a double rainbow on her way in to work, and I saw a single but enormous rare northern rainbow in late-morning. So things are okay for now.
Speaking of the Red River reminded me of my father's stories about how he and his family used to go out and patrol the levees when there was a threat of floods -- because if the levee held, somewhere else wd get flooded, and there was a v. real chance the folks that lived there might come and dynamite the levee on his side. But that was the Red River in Arkansas, not N.D.
Hadn't thought of the Whisperer ref; the Blackwood one is certainly apt. All the more so because I was convinced I saw a man in a dark slicker row a small boat across the rain-swollen river, when it's far more likely my eyes were playing me tricks and it was a small tree.
Thanks all for expressions of concern.