The upcoming, potential deluge I was talking about in my last post finally arrived on Saturday. We were expecting about 7 more inches of rain. I was worried about it, since everything was already saturated.
Just when I was beginning to think we weren’t going to get any rain, (Missouri, rather than Arkansas was getting slammed) it started pouring! It hadn’t been raining long, when I looked out the front door and saw it running through our yard again.
I’m not sure how much rain we ended up with, but it was a massive amount! It just kept on getting worse and worse. Flash flooding is common in these hills. The rain washes down the mountainsides, and then flows through the crevices to lower points.
The water level came up fast and far surpassed what we’d had on Wednesday. I just kept going from the front to the back part of the house, from window to window looking out and taking pictures. I kept thinking, “Okay, NOW this is the worst it’s going to get.” I wanted to capture it with my camera. It kept getting worse and worse…the worst I’ve ever seen it since we’ve lived here.
Though it came close to the house, our house is pretty high up, so there was no danger of it coming inside. The above picture is the corner of the planter in front of our front porch. At one point, I decided to move my car, because the water was flowing through the back tire.
After (or during) the last rain, a tree bent over the dry stream bed. It didn’t uproot–just lost it’s mojo and curled over. At first, I thought it had uprooted, but it was still firmly planted.
You can also see how docile the dry stream bed became after it drained. Usually, it is completely dry.
During the height of the storm, I was standing on the front porch taking pictures, and I heard a loud CRACK. The tree that had been leaning over the dry stream bed had broken and had wrapped around the tack house.
Later, we found out that there was a blockage of limbs and leaves just in front of the log cabin (beyond the tack house) and that was contributing to the water in the dry stream bed being diverted out of it’s banks and through the long cabin!
The chickens were outside in all of this. I had run the chicks into the hen house during a lull in the storm (before things got really bad.) The rest of the big chickens were either on the front porch, underneath the back deck, or underneath the eves of the pump house.
The back yard was really bad, and the entire thing flooded! It just continued to get worse and worse. Eventually, the spring branch was too full and couldn’t flow through the culvert any more, so it backed up into our backyard.
I waded through the water to the wooden bridge to get across to check on the hens that were already in the hen house. I was worried about the bigger hens pecking on the little ones. When I went to cross the bridge, it was floating! That bridge is heavy.
The weather continued to get worse. I had no idea how bad it was going to get! The wind was really picking up! So I decided to corral the rest of hens into the hen house. They were freaking out because of all of the water. They didn’t know which way to go.
A couple of hens tried to fly cross the water where they usually cross at the bridge, and they landed in the middle of the water. Did you know that chickens float? They do! Thankfully, the water from the spring branch was not swift like the dry stream bed, and the chickens were able to get themselves out. I had to hand carry a couple of hens to the hen house.
A couple of the hens ran up the hill. The wind was really picking up! I went up the hill for a long way, but they just kept trying to get away from me and went further up the hill. Also, I couldn’t see well because the sky had darkened, and since the plants are really springing up with all of this rain, there is a lot of undergrowth in which to hide.
I decided to wrangle the rest of the hens back around the yard, back behind the pump house and into the hen house on the other side of all of the flooding.
A seasonal spring opened up to the right of the pump house. I saw it as I was taking the hens around back there. There was a hole about the size of a grapefruit or larger. The water was shooting out like a fire hydrant and down the hill.
I came back inside and saw that I had a phone message from our neighbor. They had gone to town, and couldn’t get back home. There are creeks on either end of our gravel road that almost always swell and run over the bridge when we have a good rain. She was calling to tell me that we were under a tornado watch out here. We aren’t hooked up to TV, and when it rains really hard, our satellite internet loses it’s signal, so I had no idea. I was glad for her call! Thankfully, we were not in the path, or it didn’t touch down.
I was grateful that Bud called while I was inside. I asked him what I should do about the two hens that run up the hill. I was drenched and cold, wanted a shower and to get dry. It was getting dark by that time. I could leave the hen house door open for the rest of the night, hoping the wayward hens would come back, but that would leave the rest of the hens in the hen house vulnerable to any predators that might waltz in. Or I could close the hen house door and let the two wayward hens fend for themselves all night, but the rest of my flock would be safe. I knew I would worry and not sleep all night knowing two hens were still outside in the dark and defenseless.
Thankfully, when I went back outside, the decision was made for me. The two water-logged hens had come inside the hen house while I was inside.
I forgot to mention that Bud was at a church conference and missed all of this excitement…BOTH floods. I was all alone, but amazingly calm through it all. I was mostly shocked and amazed at all of the water! It has never been this bad before.
Thankfully, all’s well that ends well. All of the water had drained out of the yards by the next morning.