Alexander Averin

Saturday 6 September 2008

Not many words but a lot of water

Dear Diary,

It all happened so quickly.

It was raining. Nothing unusual there eh? One minute I was typing up a blog (the previous one) with one eye out of the window watching the rain and waiting for my daughter to arrive. We had spoken on the phone, nothing was amiss and she said she would pop over for a cuppa. I could see the river bridge from my desk and noticed that the water level was rising and would soon reach the bottom of the bridge. As I typed on I noticed it was starting to wash over the bridge. M said it was starting to flood a bit downstream, this is common and not usually a worry. The heavy rain continued.

I even waxed lyrical again in my blog about the joys of living in Wales and never being far from water (!). My daughter arrived and seemed concerned about the state of the roads, she wanted to ring her brother and warn him. 'Why' says I? What are you on about?

'Flooded roads, she said, really bad'.

The flood was spreading, I noticed that and the rain was becoming torrential. I quickly posted my blog and went downstairs to survey the waters. They were 'over' quite a lot but we didn't think it worth rescuing the bench, the waters were a bit deep, not too deep but we couldn't be bothered, used as we are to moderate overspill! Little did we know what was to come. Now I know why they are called flash floods. It probably took only half an hour before it was lapping at the back door.

The neighbours called round and helped us. My son arrived to help and then my son-in-law too as some sheep had got stranded in the field and were too 'dull' to move to safer ground but luckily E, a friend and my son managed to move them just before he arrived. Everyone got stuck in and helped us. I called the council and then later the Fire Service as I had been told they were in the area and they arrived with sandbags, God bless them. They said the roads were very bad, even for them. They also made drainage channels further up the road to try to divert the water as it flows down two hills in the road to join our river.

Anyway here are some photos that show the awe-ful power of Nature. I can't convey the noise, the rush and poweful roar of the waters, you will just have to imagine it. At least it was daylight, if it floods at night it is even more frightening.

And in future? We have plans now to cut down some trees across the other side of the river so the water can flow by more easily and to put in some heavy boulders on this side in 'cages' to build a wall to prevent further flooding.

Friday morning.

September 5th 2008


The flood begins

We caught the sight of the bridge being 'moved'

Views from my bedroom window

Edging towards the back door

Edging towards the front door

Back garden

Well it's Sunday now, it's a day off and I am hoping that the worst of the rain has passed. The river has receded, she is flowing really slowly by as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. I will have to begin with housework, laying all the rugs again and general cleaning up. Then I will have to try to put the garden to rights by clearing all the flood debris while assessing along the way what is 'missing'. I know I have lost a lovely bench, loads of pots, nearly all my plastic garden chairs, special stones and a little stone squirrel. All our logs are wet as they were in the riverside forge across the road.

A little stone frog has been found on the riverbank though; I have named him 'Lucky'. And lucky is what we are, because, although it came very, very close, the flood water didn't enter the cottage. The rain stopped just in time.

There are so many folk worse off than me, all over the UK and I should not moan about a bit of tidying up.

A little footnote:  The granddaughters have been by and pointed out that Lucky the frog could swim and that is why he was safe.  Silly Nanny!

Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia guit,


mountainear said...

Eeeeeeeeeeek! That's a lot of water. Quite agree how much worse it would have seemed at night. It's bad enough in the daytime. Glad things are a little calmer today (no rain so far with us.)

Does it bode ill for the winter mnths with the land being so wet already - we're going to need a long dry spell to make amends I think.

Best of luck with the mopping up.

toady said...

That must have been very frightening Cait. Thank got you managed to keep the cottage dry.

Unknown said...

Crikey! You were indeed lucky that it didn't come into your cottage. Hope that's the end of the rain now and you can get back to normal again.

I would moan too about tidying up - everything is relative after all!!

Anonymous said...

It is horrendous. Again we are faced with floods and again, we are left to deal with nature.

I hope you stay safe.

CJ xx

Frances said...

Cait, those pictures are amazing, and show so well how everything changed so very quickly in your usual window view.

Your words also show how much your community came together to help each other. Another tribute to your wonderful area of the world.

Glad that your house stayed pretty dry. As the water subsides, sinks in ... goes to ground, I wonder if you will find things that came from someone else's garden?

Maybe at your library you could have a sort of informal list of "what we've found" so that neighbors could see if any of their treasures have turned up downstream?


Pat Posner said...

Oh, Cait
Your poor garden. But good the sheep were helped to safety - good, too, everyone rallied round and so lucky the water didn't quite get inside.

Hope things are back to normal soon.

Pondside said...

I'm glad to hear that you are all safe, Cait. I read, yesterday, about the floods in Wales, and about a death, and hoped that your property had been spared. I'm sorry to hear that you were flooded, but happy to hear that no permanent damage to property or life has resulted. Good luck with the clean-up!

Faith said...

That brings it home Cait. Living right next to water is not always a blessing. Thank goodness your cottage was spared. Hopefully you won't get a flash flood again, it must have been so scary!

Lane Mathias said...

It's incredible how quickly that happened. I can only imagine the noise.

I'm so glad it didn't make it into your cottage and no people or animals were hurt. All the best with the clearing up and piecing your garden back together.
Let's hope that's the end of the heavy rain for a while.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

It is just so scarey that no-one is in control, you can't just shout 'Oi turn it off!' can you? I saw the mess last year as we travelled down to Dorset the day after those floods last July and felt so sorry for anyone that has this happen. It leaves a vile smell of damp and drains for days. Good luck with the clean up Cait and so glad it never got in to your home.

bradan said...

Amazing pictures, Cait. Relieved you are all safe.

We live very close to the sea, scary to think of the power of water. Best of luck with the clean-up.

Kim said...

My goodness, Cait. That looks quite scary. How lucky you are to have so many good people to help. I hope the clean up isn't too bad. Good luck with it.

DAB said...

Cait, Thank God you are safe, so close. Take care TFx

Cait O'Connor said...

SBS We are lucky in that the water is straight off the mountain so is still pure and therefore doesn't smell.

Kitty said...

Terribly relieved it has not come into your house, I was thinking about your flood this morning when I was contemplating ours (like yours, just in the garden). What a shame about the garden furniture and special bits and pieces.
Let's hope for a bit of dry now!

Grouse said...

Brilliant photos!And terrific attitude, too- if all you lost was a few pots.....wonder whether you will ever get Lucky back home? I remember the tales of rescue and reuniting my friend told when she lived on the Thames...
Being on a hill we dont get flooded........just think of me in the gales......

Norma Murray said...

Thank goodness your home was saved.
Take care and stay safe

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh, I was worried when I started reading that it had entered the house. I am so glad it didn't. I have a good friend that was flooded out several years ago here, and it was a dreadful mess. The water flooded two floors and was up over the kitchen counters. Smelly, too.

It's almost as though your river is ashamed of herself now and that's why she's flowing so slowly!

Tess Kincaid said...

So happy to hear it stopped before entering your cottage! Yikes! Does this happen often? So scary!!

laurie said...

wow. i'm glad your cottage is OK. too bad about the stone squirrel and other garden items. i have driven through flooded roads; it's amazing the power of something that seems (under other circumstances) as feeble as water.

abcd said...

That was a bit close for comfort, glad the water didn't make it inside. I have always envied you living beside a river but I suppose this is the other side of the coin, on balance though I still think it would be worth the risk!.
Good luck with the clear up.

Maggie Christie said...

Yikes that was close! Your poor greenhouse! Sad to lose those special things, but nice to find Lucky the frog. Perhaps someone down river of you now has a special stone squirrel called Lucky and a lovely bench to sit on too. Good luck with the clean up.

Exmoorjane said...

Cait, thank heavens you're all safe and that the water didn't get into the cottage. Aren't the firemen fantastic? Ours had to race off to help out a few people round here too but nothing as bad as that. Adrian has been looking over my shoulder with his mouth open in amazement. So frightening the way the water can rise so quickly.

CAMILLA said...

Hello Cait,

Goodness, what a flood of water you have had, so glad that your pretty cottage has kept safe and did not reach inside, even so, quite frightening.

Pleased the sheep were helped to their safety Cait, and how wonderful to know that everyone rallied round to help too.


Pipany said...

Thought I had already commented on this Cait, but it would seem not. Amazing photo-diary of what must have been a very scary time for you all. This will be fantastic to look back a, but I am so glad it all ended well for you xx

Unknown said...

Oh boy. I hope you're okay. Have the waters begun to recede yet?

I came on the black boxes widget.

Ken Duck Geraths said...

Wow I know how you felt, I was in a flood in 96 had 3 feet come through the house. what a mess, but luckly like you every one was safe!

Here via black box

Tea said...

Wow!!! That` terrible and scary! What a job cleaning all that up.


aims said...

The power of water never enters our mind until it enters our house.

We had a flood like this - well my brother did - a few years ago. Like you - it came up to the front door....but then receded. Many prayers were said.

I came here via the black box. I love your name btw. You've made me feel like a friend just with your words.