Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The 2012 Black Creek Flood

Here in NE Florida, we've been getting a very long overdue hammering of rain....for weeks it seems.  Let me back up.  See, it was very dry, like drought and wildfires dry just 6 weeks ago I'd say.  Then we got a little rain - ah, so refreshing.  Then, we got Tropical Storm Beryl, who drenched us with her never-ending, pounding rain.  But still, it was so nice to have water in our ponds, and our drought was busted.  Hurray!  Then, came more rain, and afternoon thunderstorms on an almost daily basis.  Okay, we live in Florida, no problem, we're used to it.

So, the water table is high, the ditches are full, and there really is nowhere for the water to run to.  Enter Tropical Storm Debbie, stage right.  We've now been doused!

My family lives on a narrow stretch of the itty-bitty, flood-prone Black Creek.  The creek drains the entire county.  We've been watching and waiting.  Yesterday, we awoke to this:
 (The 2 trees out there mark our bank.  The water level is normally 3 or 4 feet below the top of the bank.  You can see the pic. of Hubs and I on the right margin of the same 2 trees.)


So, I quickly check the flood forecasting site, which showed me that the creek was to come up
more.  For perspective, the creek normally flows around 1.5 feet above sea level.  We may get a bump up to 2 feet after a few days of steady rain.  After Beryl, the level jumped up to 4 feet, and this same prediction site told us it was going to crest at 12 feet.  They've been way off, so I wasn't sure about this prediction either.  But all we can do is wait.  It sat like this for most of the day, until around 4:00 PM, when the waters began to rise quickly.

We all left for our respective Monday places to be, and returned home to this at around 9:00 PM:

Now, I know its not much to go on but it was dark.  This is at Hubs' shed.  We haven't seen a flood since the shed has been here.

So, last night, the local News People, in their frantic state of "something-is-happening-here" reported the creek to crest at 21 feet.  Wow!  Impressive.  "You are flirting with historical heights along Black Creek."  And this was the new official prediction:

The prediction changes based on recent rainfall accumulation and a flood gauge upstream from us.

So, this morning, we woke up to this: 

These are the pens for our critters.  Thankfully, they weren't currently in use.

This is a picture from our shed, taken of the backyard.  Waters would have to come up another 9 feet vertically to threaten our home.  We are blessed!

This is the neighbor's dock - kind of.  It's the roof of their dock, sitting about 2 feet above the surface. 

Debris from upstream, caught in our fence.  I can't wait for the clean up!

Our shed this morning.  We are over 22' this morning, and we aren't supposed to crest until this afternoon.  More wait and see I suppose.
There's TONS of fence undwater, and gates, and goat house, and a foot bridge, and a boat trailer, and who knows what else?  Its deep!

And our science lesson of the day?  This is what ants do when it floods.

So, like I said, we are very blessed to have built our home high enough to keep out of the water.  Some folks down stream from us aren't so lucky.  Although, we enjoy watching the awesome power of the raging river, we are in prayer for those around us.  Many homes are being destroyed right now.  After the waters recede, many homeowners will have a lot of cleanup to do.  Please join us in prayer for them.

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