Monday, March 29, 2010

How Long Will It Take to Kayak to Work?

I don't know if you heard about it, but the President just declared a state of emergency for Rhode Island.  We've received an ungodly amount of rain.  We're a relatively flat state, Jerimoth Hill is our highest point at 812 feet.  We don't even get to call our high point a mountain.  We call it a hill.  When you're at sea level you don't have anywhere for the rain to go. 

The flooding has affected our house.  Luckily the water has stayed outside of our walls, but our lawn and driveway are overflowing.

This is our driveway, from the road.  On the left you can see that the water level is above the flower bed that runs along the driveway.  Todd had to cut through the flower bed, and damage the landscaping just to alleviate the flooding in the front lawn.

This is the culvert at the end of our driveway.  There is a storm drain near our driveway that lets out into the culvert just to the south of our driveway.  The storm water joins the water that is already in the culvert, and flows under our driveway.  The concrete pipe that runs under the driveway is too small to handle the load.  Here you can see the water overflowing the culvert, for lack of anywhere else to go.

Here you can see the flooding in the front lawn, the washing out driveway, and my house in the distance.  My driveway is unpassable on foot.  My Docmartens soaked through when I was taking these pictures only because there are no dry places to step.

Water flows from the culvert under my driveway and ends up here.  Through the woods you can see my neighbor's house.  The neighbor has 6 inches of water in the basement, and all the water that flows under my driveway ended up on his front lawn and in his driveway.

I went to visit the neighbor.  This is the view of their front lawn from the front steps on their house.

Todd cut through the landscaping to drain the lawn.  When he had broke through, the water flowed quickly across the driveway and into the woods.

Todd said that the water level had gone down quite a bit before I'd gotten home today.  You can see on the back end of the puddle where the water level was before he cut through the flower bed.

This is the view of the driveway from the garage.  That puddle is about six inches deep in the center.

As I walked back from the neighbor's house, here's where the culvert on my driveway lets out.  There is no trench across the front of his property like there is on mine.  So the water has more of an opportunity to fan out on the neighbor's lawn.  And he just finished the spring rake up last week, and now he'll have to do it again.

You can see how the driveway is trying to flow into the woods.  But there's just so much of it, it has nowhere to go.

It's 9 PM on Monday, and the news says there is a flood warning until tomorrow night.  It's still raining.  Todd has since called the Public Works department, because the culvert is their responsibility to maintain.  They said something to the effect of "Have you driven on the roads in Rhode Island?  There isn't any money to fix any of them."  The DPW guys came out, stood around, scratched their heads and then got back into their truck and drove way seemingly uninterested in the overflow from the storm drain and the lack of culvert in the neighbor's lawn.

I think the neighor is still pumping their basement out.  I have the phone close by in case they need help.

In the mean time, I am trying to figure out how long it will take to kayak to work tomorrow.


Blogger The Creeper said...

Holy puddles, Rainman! Good thing your house is higher than the road and the rest of your property. I hope it all stays outside.

March 29, 2010 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yikes!!! Good thing the pups know how to swim.

March 29, 2010 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger Taoist Biker said...

+1 - glad it's staying outside the walls, at least - hope it stays that way! Hope your neighbors don't sustain much damage. :(

March 30, 2010 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger BJ Knapp said...

Jen, Todd and I have tuned up our scuba gear, just in case.

Yeah, it's pretty crazy here right now. Rivers flooding, dams breaking, people evacuating. I am lucky that it's only my lawn and driveway.

One of Todd's co-workers had a crack form in the foundation of his house in the last big rain last week. Today he has several more cracks. His foundation is toast. I feel so badly for him.

I kinda felt like a tool for having to empty the dehumidifier in the basement on my way out this morning. It could be much worse.

March 30, 2010 at 11:35 AM  

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