Thursday, June 29, 2006

Can't Get There From Here

Yesterday Mother Nature slapped us again for being disrespectful. We had been getting a fair amount of rain for the better part of the week, so the ground had soaked up about as much as it cared to. Then Tuesday night about 8 pm the skies opened up and we ended up getting something close to 8 inches in a few hours. We live in what is called the Endless Mountains region of North East Pennsylvania, which is best described as mostly a ridge and hollow type landscape. We are up on top of a huge hill, and most of the houses around here are up out of the flood plains, so when we get rain events like this we don't worry much about our houses standing in flood water like the valley cities (Wilkes-Barre, Scranton) do. Where we run into trouble is that all the water gets funneled into very narrow and often steep places which makes it run fast and deep. The Whites Creek which runs a mile to the west of the farm is usually about 15 feet wide and a foot or so deep. When I checked it yesterday morning it had spilled over it's banks and had covered most of the creek flats that are down there. Three of the roads that cross that creek, each within about a mile of each other had their bridges destroyed. One of the problems we are having in this part of the state is that there are a lot of bridges closed for repair and not a lot of money to fix them. Bridges that are closed often stay that way for 5 years until the state gets around to repair them. I hope they will be able to repair some of these bridges faster than that.
Our Springville Township road crew is pretty impressive though. The township road that runs along the creek was largely covered up with debris and stone that had washed down our hill and dumped onto the road. By the middle of the afternoon they had managed to make that road passable, and the bridge that they built last year was the only one that I know of that survived.


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