Friday, October 30, 2009

The annual flood drill - Nov to Jan

The land that I farm is in the flood plain, the 100 year flood plain, to be specific.    That means that every 100 years the entire flood plain fills up with water.  But it doesn't mean that you're safe on any given year, because we've been having 100 year floods every 3 or 4 years recently. 

What it means to me is that I have to have on hand enough trailers and transportation to move all of my livestock off the island if the dike around the island fails, and I have to be able to do that in 4 to 6 hours.  The island fills in about 10 hours.  Once the island fills it's filled for 2 to 4 months, until they can pump the water out.  

So I spent part of the day today moving all of the implements that can't be underwater towards the road, and arranging them so that they'd be easily loaded, and then re-arranging the electric fences around the pig area so that I could more-easily herd the pigs. 

Next step is to make sure that all of the trailers are in working order, and that usually means a day or two of messing around with the lights and checking the tires and bearings for wear and tear. 

The long-range weather guesses for this year is that it'll be dryer than normal, but I've learned to be skeptical about long range forecasts. 


MMP said...

That's quite a thing to have hanging over your head. I was reading your blog last winter when you went through a near flood event, but I don't remember that you evacuated.

Where would you evacuate your animals to? Do you have any high ground where you could perch equipment?

I think you mentioned recently that you are looking at buying another 40 acres. Is that off island?

Bruce King said...

Last January the dike did break, and we did load all of the animals on trailers, and then we sat there, my brother, two helpers adn I, and watched the water rise and the dump trucks rush rock into the dike. It was that close.

I didn't write it up because I was terribly busy herding animals onto trailers and so on. Couldn't write.

The only reason that the island didn't flood is that the dike broke during an outgoing tide, so we had 6 hours of water going down to plug the hole. Had it broken on the other side of the tide I don't think that they would have been able to plug it.

The risk of flood is very real.

Dave said...

Good luck, I think you will need it. This from todays paper.

On Ebey Island, a section of levee about the length of a football field still needs repairs, Anderson said.

Fixing the levee according to county rules would have bankrupted the diking district, he said. If the waters rise, the district will have to fight flooding. A pile of rocks has been assembled, just in case.