Getting anywhere from here…

Friday - 13 January 2006

Well in case you don’t know, southern Humboldt and most of northern California were hit with a series of very heavy rain and wind storms starting mid-December. After a week of rain we were all like, “Wow the rivers and creeks are really running high, it’s so cool to see water finally.”

A week later, there was no way to get here or out of here..every main-major road was blocked by some kind of slide, slip-out or flood. The Confusion Hill slide is still moving and road closures south on 101 are constant. The bluffs between Garberville and Redway keep dropping muck and rocks on the road there so that road is also closed half the time… still 3 weeks later.

That doesn’t even cover the roads we all live on, many of them are still sliding, including the one we live on. It has a major slide behind us, and a slide and a slip-out between us and the county paved road. So far it has remained passable, although very narrow with a 300 foot drop to the creek on the slip-out side. We keep the truck on the county road side and my 4 Runner here at the house. That way if it totally goes, at least we can shuttle supplies in and out.

Others have had it far worse, several homes have been pushed off their foundations. Some of the roads are so bad that people are shuttling 2 or 3 times and sometimes walking across long stretches of slides. It is hard hauling food, laundry and propane tanks that way.

In the midst of the major storm Redway and surrounding area had no grid power for days, some places for a week. Garberville lost its water pump so the town was asked to use sparingly. You never knew just when or if the roads leading in or out town would go… so keeping gas and food supplies up is now my mind set, don’t let anything get low, go into town only when it isn’t raining, as the ground is so far beyond saturated that any rain now is run off and damaging already unstable hillsides.

One very bright light in all this was our beloved Estelle Fennell, at KMUD who kept us updated hourly for days. You can also check out some of the weather related pictures at the MUD, just go to their picture gallery.

As for us, we had wood and were warm, we had water, we had off the grid solar power (only had to generator charge the batteries 4x so far this winter!), we only had a couple of leaks in our storage shed. We were lucky. We are still shuttling our cars and it’s a hassle, but hopefully our road will get shored up good enough to make it through the winter, with a major fix when the rains have stopped (I hope).

More to come later, as I play catch up with the blog, and start considering new blogging software so I can turn comments back on and not be spammed to death.

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