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 ...