Thursday, January 19, 2012


Our insignificant weather event that I wrote about yesterday turned into a major flood this morning, thanks to melting snow in the hills above us combined with an all-night rain. Our pond flowed over the dam and spillway, carving its own routes downstream as water in a hurry is apt to do. It even carved a hole in the top of the dam in its rush.

Our spawning fish of last week can go up or downstream at will until the water recedes, if they're determined enough. Here is one of several streamlets coming off the flooded lane and heading into the main stream through bushes.

Johnny and I hiked to Agency Creek via the arboretum to see how high the creek is. The arboretum paths have turned into rivers.

Agency is high and muddy, but not as high as it has been in the past. The white stake on the far left of one photo marks the highest ever at that point. That was during a major flood some years ago when towns were sandbagged to keep the South Yamhill River out. Agency flows into the South Yamhill. We canoed through our woods back then. They're not canoe-able this year... yet. Rain is predicted for at least the next week, but snow should be gone from the hills very soon if it isn't already. It's a heavy snow pack combined with warm (relatively speaking) rain that causes the worst flooding around here.

This time, the flood waters came up so quickly that some people were caught in their cars in the valley and swept downstream. Some lost their lives. Moving water has an incredible amount of force. Just getting myself across the dam to the horse barn (visible in the distance in the photo below) was scary enough this morning.

The water seems to have receded a little but I still think I'll hike down the flooded lane through the gate, across the culvert where the horses cross the creek, and back up to the horse barn on my next trip. The culvert is, so far, holding its own against the raging waters.


  1. Wow! I'm relieved to read that you're going to cross at the culvert. So much water so close to home (to borrow a title from Carver).


  2. The muddy rushing water is so terrifying-looking -- stay safe!