Sunday, May 31, 2015

- And still it rains: Gulley washers in the Hill Country

It began with the hail, clattering down off the roof. Then thunder and lightning cracking overhead, over and over. Three and one-half inches of rain in a couple of hours ... again. The rain falling harder than we've ever seen it, flowing straight toward the house, then parting at the last second ...

After the deluge

going northeast to the left or northwest to the right through some unseen agency. 

A skunk tottered through the tall grass, headed for the shelter of our front porch. Turned away at the last moment by the swiftly flowing water, it was last seen heading west.

The water rose perilously close to the edge of the foundation as we circled inside, watching out the windows and waiting for the storm to end. We ventured out after the thunder finally receded into the east, the sun glinting out in the west. Having seen the floodplain roil with water from the distant safety of the house, we sloshed through still-moving water ...


to find Sink Creek twice the width of the last storm, already receding ...

Looking upstream to the west

Debris hanging in the bushes told the tale of the water's passage ...

Let the record show that the water was at least two feet deeper at some point

Then we went down to the low water crossing two houses away ... it is ten feet below street level and usually bone dry. There we found Sink Creek raging through the storm pipes, just a few feet below street level, a dead tree wedged above the water, testimony to a higher cresting point ...


more water still flowing down the street ...

Sink Creek looking downstream

headed for the Blanco River.

Our house is 1000' above sea level, just 100' from the highest point in our neighborhood and a mere 3.5 inches of rain created this roaring stream. I try to imagine the Blanco, at 800' of elevation and five miles away, receiving this much water in multiples beyond my reckoning. And I am once again humbled by the immensity of it all.

Addendum:

Our neighbors headed out to the low water crossing during the final minutes of the storm ...



 and captured this image of Sink Creek at road level, with a wave obscuring the 1' mark ...


16 comments:

Mo Crow said...

Wow, the rain gods have certainly been visiting Texas!

Liz Ackert said...

News reports yesterday said 35 trillion gallons of water have already fallen on Texas this month, enough to cover the entire state to a depth of 8" ... and the month isn't over yet.

yvette said...

is this dangerous for you Jill?

Liz Ackert said...

Borderline ... we try to minimize the risks, but a storm is a storm and therefore hazardous wherever you are

handstories said...

Oh, my word…the feeling of endlessness…

Liz Ackert said...

It is usually the lack of rain that seems endless here ... this past month has been extraordinary. Some of our cacti are looking very annoyed about their wet feet, but they will have things their way again, sooner or later.

jude said...

geez.... wild!

Liz Ackert said...

24 straight days of rain, the wettest May ever. So yeah, we definitely need a sun flag.

deemallon said...

Oh yikes I hope that you and yours are okay!!

Liz Ackert said...

Thankfully we are ... during the rains (which have ended at last) I thought often of what our Realtor realistically (and gently) told us as we looked at houses: "You don't get a 'view' at your price point." Those with deeper pockets who lived within view of the river were mightily impacted ... we are fortunate that the little house that became our home, perched far above and beyond any view of the river, kept us safe.

Sweetpea said...

WOW! the magnificent power of water in motion ... captivating but terrifying at the same time.
That's a beautiful point you made about your home without a view.

Liz Ackert said...

We couldn't stop looking out the windows during the storm (though the lightning strikes had us backing away more than once). The past two days have been blissfully sunny ... I'm looking forward to seeing the full moon!

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

i really hope that some time there will be WILD weather that stops short of damage and
you can really get out and in to that creek...oh, the joy of swollen creeks.

Liz Ackert said...

That would be a dream come true ...

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

it would for me too. Someday...................

Liz Ackert said...

Like grown up mud puddles ...

There was a bit of a reality check when I went back after the water soaked into the ground and/or rolled downstream. I went into the middle of the creek bed and stood next to a tree that had debris tangled up in it. The debris line was up to my neck!