Sunday, January 01, 2006

High Water


THE RIVER’S UP again here on Eastside Road. The road itself is about five feet below that brown water stetching out across the road, the vineyards, the new county park, the river itself, and the vineyards on the other side of the river -- I suppose about a mile and a half altogether.

We’ve been here before, and the drill is familiar. Yesterday, New Year’s Eve, Therese and Eric spent the day moving everything upstairs from downstairs. We helped; so did two friends from Healdsburg. A couple of thousand books, but they were the easiest part. Furniture that couldn’t be moved easily -- the dining table, for example -- was fitted out with garbage-bag booties. Sawhorses and scaffolds were set up in the living room; we took all the interior doors down and laid them across them, and piled the lighter furniture on top.

We still have power and telephone, as of 10 am New Year’s Day, so we’re better off than a lot of people. The main immediate problem is that we’re isolated; it will be a couple of days before we can drive out -- unless it continues to rain badly upstream, in which case it will be longer. We can walk out across the hill behind us; it would take about an hour or so to walk to town, longer if it’s raining of course.

The other immediate problem is that our well is under water, and the water is full of unpleasantness -- I won’t go into that, except to note that Santa Rosa’s main sewage-treatment plant, well south of us, was breached. That won’t affect us, but closer leachfields, barns, fertilizer and insecticide stores are undoubtedly making their contribution.

It’s funny to look out at all this water less than a week after flying home from the Netherlands. Clearly we have a lot to learn, in this country, about governmental administration of floodplains, roads, levees, bridges and the like. Perhaps after we get through rebuilding Afghanistan and Iraq we’ll have time to deal with this.

Speaking of the Netherlands, I’ll try to post the dispatches written from there on my website soon -- when I get to a high-speed internet connection. That may take a while!

1 comment:

Ron said...

I'm glad you two are okay. I can envision moving the books -- I have several thousand books on the lowest level of my house (with a wet vac standing by, tho the water never has gotten more than 1/16th of an inch deep here, even in Hurricane Floyd).

But the booties on the furniture I never would have guessed -- it's a great tip,

Ron Silliman