Friday, September 9, 2011

Rain, Rain, Rain

Well, today we are on day four of rain. For the most part, the rain has come and gone, but I would be surprised if it has been any longer than 90 minutes without a steady rain. This is very strange to me. I am used to afternoon rains and evening rains. I am perfectly happy during those typical Colorado rains-while-the-sun's-out rains. This is a rain I am entirely not used to.

School was cancelled today because of flooding, and while I thought that was strange, I am VERY glad about it. Wyatt and I walked down our normal route this morning and I was stunned to see what three days of rain and one torrential downpour did to our favorite morning walkway. The pathway leads down between some hills and leads to a long stretch of pathway called the Cross County Trail, which goes for 40 miles. I love this place. It is quiet and wooded. We've seen box turtles and snakes and little fish and deer back there. It's the best part of living where we live.

 Today it was different. Sediment has piled up on the upstream side of footbridges. Water no longer flows underneath, but over the footbridges. Last time we walked over these bridges, there was a two to three foot drop on either side. Normally, these footbridges just see a trickle of water flowing underneath just after a rain. I wish these pictures were better, but they were taken with my soggy wet phone.

Entire hillsides were washed downstream. Massive trees that grew along the banks now have sediment washed away around them and many have fallen. This fallen tree is gigantic. I would bet it is 40 feet tall. Wyatt and I crawled over and under branches to make our way to the other side.

The rain changed from a sprinkle to a steady rain and I got nervous about flash floods. We were moving downhill towards the river. I've not ever been exposed to this kind of impact from a storm.

It's very strange and yet, it's only a tiny example of the damage that happens in bigger storms. I am not sure I could ever fathom the damage from Hurricane Katrina or from the earthquakes in Haiti or Japan or the tornado that hit Joplin. It's amazing and terrifying all at once.

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