Monday, November 19, 2012

I wore a suit to work today: Floods & rain

I had to dig out my rain suit, that is.  Full on raingear today; boots, bib overalls, top and lots of warm clothes underneath.  Blustery and rainy. 

No matter where you live, if you break the all-time record for rainfall, you know its a big day.   2 inches of rain fell today at the airport in Seattle.  I don't have a  figure at my farm, 30 miles north, but I have several feet of water in low areas on my pasture. 

The rain gauge at the airport just confirmed that this was the most rain ever recorded on this day for as long as records are kept.  I sure know that it was raining hard. 

The sows were really funny; they had made little hollows in the field, and those were rapidly turning into swimming pools.  Now its not all that cold -- 40-50 degrees -- and a big sow or boar has a lot of insulation -- think walrus, or maybe elephant seal.  Lots of blubber, so they'll lay out in the rain and pretty much ignore it. 

The people who don't ignore it are the folks on the highway.  They always call animal control, and I just didn't feel like seeing officer barber so I was out in the muddy field herding the sows into the hoop barn for the night.  I left the gate open so they can go out into the mud tomorrow, and they will, but people don't seem to be bothered as much by pigs walking around in the mud as they are with pigs sleeping in the mud.    I feel better with the animals in shelter anyway -- I like to think that a farmer can make better choices than the animal can, at least sometimes. 

Rain.  Rain.  Rain.  Rain.  More rain
We are forecasted to get more than 20 inches of rain in the next 8 days.  that's almost 2 feet of water.  With this sort of rain, it makes me check the river levels.  So far they look good, but here's what would really ruin my month: 

  Heavy snow in the mountains -- 3 or 4 feet
  Warming pattern, that brings rain in on that new snow
  heavy rain at the farm
  high tide

If all of those things happen I'll be at risk for flood. 

River levels for the river that will flood me if it does flood. 

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