Rain

It’s been raining this last week. Officially there’s been enough rain to declare the drought in Northern California over. In the southland rains have improved things, but not enough to declare the drought over there. This is both good and bad.

Great that we have the water.

Bad because now programs like water recycling, desalinization, storm water capture, storage, and other programs designed to ease the drought will find their priority reduced, funding cut and likely face increasing criticism of wasting tax payer dollars. Then when the next drought hits, everyone will be up in arms saying, “how come we don’t have a desalinization plant? Or more water storage?” And the people and politicians begin again with the finger-pointing and blame game.

Well, that’s enough preaching about California’s dysfunctional water planning system.

California’s water is a case in extremes – either it’s not raining or it’s raining a lot. The rain can come in what’s called an “atmospheric river.” Seriously, it’s like having a river fly over and suddenly drop everything at once. Floods become common and flood control systems on rivers quickly become overwhelmed.

I live and work near the Los Gatos Creek (my office is about three-hundred yards from it’s banks). The word creek brings up pictures of a small, gently flowing water way. Which it mostly is. However, in the rainy season, I like to rename it to “Los Gatos River.” This year the two reservoir upstream filled to capacity after two weeks of heavy rain and started to spill over. These reservoirs have two functions – water storage and flood control. The atmospheric river ensured that the reservoirs succeeded in water storage and failed at flood control.

With the dams spilling over, the lazy creek became a rushing torrent that triggered a few emergency alerts, many closed roads, mudslides, and a number of my co-workers wondering if now might be a good time to get their cars out of the underground parking garage.

Here are a couple of pictures of the creek/river during the flooding:

This is the Los Gatos Creek Trail as it goes under the highway.  The path is cover by at least 5 feet of water.

This is the Los Gatos Creek Trail as it goes under the highway. The path is cover by at least 5 feet of water.

This is further up the trail a few days later.  The path on the right is covered in several feet of water.

This is further up the trail a few days later. The path on the right is covered in several feet of water.

The flood took out about 20 feet of chainlink fence.  This post was just lifted out of the ground.

The flood took out about 20 feet of chain link fence. This post was just lifted out of the ground.

and this is where the fence went - downstream and wrapped around some trees.

and this is where the fence went – downstream and wrapped around some trees.

Fortunately, the creek never went high enough to flood homes or cause more than just minor damage. The scary thing is that more rain is predicted.

Now I am going to head out to the shop to see if I’ve got enough lumber to build an ark, or at least a sturdy raft.

Till next week,
Andrew

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I work in the high tech world doing software release engineering Then I got prostate cancer Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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45 Responses to Rain

  1. stbarbebaker says:

    Glad the drought is abated.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dina says:

    Very good photostory. We are familiar with a sitaution like this, recently we had a flood in our little village next the sea in Norfolk, UK, it can happen so quickly. Now we are ain Norway and we hope for snow. Rain, please go away …
    Best regards, Dina & co

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  3. The atmospheric river is right! Sorry to hear that the drought here in So Cal isn’t over yet, but I can’t imagine how much more we can take. And as I was reading your post, my daughter announced, “It’s raining again.” Ha! What timing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. inesephoto says:

    The road is flooded all right. It is amazing how a little creek can change and become dangerous.

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  5. Margy says:

    Your weather is lapping over into Arizona, I guess. We’re sure getting a lot of rain here north of Phoenix!

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  6. Constant rain can be pretty miserable. Hope things improve soon for you.

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  7. PiedType says:

    SoCal can count on a lot more water from the Colorado River this year. Our snowpack is building to near record amounts. Can’t do much for Northern Cali, but keep your feet dry.

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    • I didn’t mention that, but the drought monitor is showing most of the western US coming out of drought. Don’t worry, I know where all the high ground is.

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  8. Debra says:

    And we have more coming later this week. I don’t remember the last time we had this much rain in Southern California. I’m working on a post about our situation, too. I love the overuse of the words “atmospheric river.” What happened to Pineapple Express?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Baydreamer says:

    I like what you said…”California’s water is a case in extremes – either it’s not raining or it’s raining a lot. The rain can come in what’s called an “atmospheric river.” Yes, we need the rain, but must it all come down in one day? Your photos are crazy but authentic to the outcome. I’m glad there were no major flooding problems for your area. How’s that ark coming along? 🙂
    Stay safe this week with more rain to come, and my eyes are open for falling trees. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good pictures, Andrew. We’re wet down here in SoCal, but nothing we can’t handle. In between constant drenching rain is bright sun and blue skies. It’s pretty glorious.

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    • It’s was a beautiful sunny day on Saturday when I took the pictures. Looks like another storm is on the way in, but don’t know where it will land yet. Up here we’re hoping it goes south, since we know you need more rain. 😉

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  11. mukhamani says:

    Do you have a monsoon season or does it rain anytime the whole year? We live in the western coast of South India. We have our monsoon season from June to October end. We get occasional rains till November end. But even in our own state the conditions are different in different parts. Life without water is hard to imagine. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’re a bit like South India in that it generally only rains between October and April. I’m not sure if we get as much rain during our wet season as you would during a monsoon, but it’s similar. While it’s possible to get rain at other times, it’s rare.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Carrie Rubin says:

    Yikes, I hope you stay dry. Might want to put a lot of books on your arc, just in case you’re there for a while. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Glynis Jolly says:

    Do you think things will get back to “normal”? The environment worldwide is changing. The drought and, now, the rain could be a part of that change that will stay. Will the Californians be able to roll with the punches?

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    • “Normal” is changing. Our rain drought cycles use to be 3 to 4 year cycles, now that seems to be getting longer – more like 10 year cycles with 5 years of drought. My prediction is that the droughts will be more extreme and the storms more powerful. We’re also seeing a tendency towards warmer winters and cooler summers which makes me wonder if NorCal will become more tropical. The urban areas of California will be able to cope (desal, recycling), but the farms in the inland valleys are going to suffer and possible disappear.

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  14. jennypellett says:

    Seems rain is pretty widespread. We’ve had a continual downpour all weekend…

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  15. Where on earth will you get two giraffes at this time of the year?

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  16. jfwknifton says:

    I’m not surprised to hear about politicians who just don’t bother with funding preventative methods because it’s cheaper that way. That’s when everybody finds out the power of Mother Nature.

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  17. Barb Knowles says:

    Is that trail, as in nice path to walk under the bridge, or trail as in we’d normally drive here? Looks more like a road to me. I guess California weather doesn’t come in half-measures.

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  18. davidprosser says:

    Take care Noah.
    Hugs

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  19. As Roseanne Rosanadana would say, “It’s always somethin'” Glad you are safe and hydrated.

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  20. PiedType says:

    I was happy to hear some of California’s drought has broken. Keep your feet dry.

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