Friday, September 26, 2008
I have erected a battlement - of sorts - in my yard in preparation for this weekend's coming storm.
Regular readers will know that I lost a great number of tools during some nasty flooding a couple weeks ago when Hurricane Hanna blew through. We had something like 40 inches of water in the basement. I was down there yesterday with my brother-in-law and showed him the high water mark on the furnace. He was duly impressed.
We didn't used to get floods like that, but it seems that in recent years things have gotten worse. A few years ago, when the state highway department re-built Route 3, which is the main (only) road through town, for some reason storm drains and culverts and ditches were eliminated. Don't know why. Only know that now our neighbor has to replace his crushed rock driveway at least three times a year because it all washes into our yard (hell on the mower!) and the water flows around and heads straight into the bulkhead and my cellar. It is most frustrating.
So anyway, we're due for a zinger again this weekend. Weather guy on TV says something like 4 to 6 inches of rain for our area. The low pressure pattern is familiar to us - it is a cyclical formation, less defined than a hurricane, that travels up the east coast and blasts Maine. The storm rotates counter clockwise as it travels to the northeast, which means our winds here on the coast tend to come from out of the east-northeast, as the storm swirls around. It hits us generally after spending some time over the ocean picking up additional moisture, which it drops when it gets over the land.
That may all be very wrong, but it is my understanding of what happens. If you can explain it better, have at it.
So anyway, we've got this nasty Nor'easter headed our way and I don't want to spend another Sunday morning sloshing around my basement chasing flotsam and waiting for the waters to recede.
Back to the battlement.
It's not a huge thing, really, just a row of regular cinder blocks laid end-to-end, holes up, in a rough kind of semi-circle around the uphill side of my house. On one side of the bulkhead, I built a deck. No sense in having a wall to keep the water out if it also makes it a pain in the tuckus to take out the trash or grill a steak, so I built above the wall. Actually, I incorporated the wall into the plan, running my joists out between every third block (three 16s make 4 feet) and building the thing so that the planks lay nearly on top of the blocks. This allows for support between the four-foot joists, and it covers the holes of the blocks.
I framed it together yesterday with the aforementioned brother-in-law, then banged down the planks this morning with my new nail gun. Let me say here and now, for the record, and in all seriousness: I have lived too many years without an air compressor and a nail gun. Damn, but that thing is a dream! That decking went on in less than an hour, and the most time-consuming part of it was carrying the planks from the delivery pile across the yard and laying them in place. That thing is awesome!
So anyway, I have a wall. And I think it will hold out the flood waters.
But I am still keeping the welder locked in the garage, well above the flood zone, until I know just how well my little invention works.