The frequency and duration of rainy weather here is not very much more than in the rain shadow where the inland base of the Santa Cruz Mountains merges into the Santa Clara Valley. However, the volume is about triple! My former neighborhood in town just about fifteen miles away gets about one foot of rain annually. The average annual rainfall here is about three feet.

That extra two feet sometimes seems to fall all at once.

1. Rain got heavy enough for me to bother recording this first of six brief videos. I do not know why the lights upstairs were pulsating and blinking. The downspout seems to be jet propelled.

2. This was certainly more than I expected. Off to the left, there were only two sandbags to put in front of a doorway that is three sandbags wide. This was a major problem. I did not panic.

3. Now I panicked. I called for help, but my radio was too wet to operate. There was nothing anyone could do anyway; or so I thought. I stopped the camera and went upstairs to investigate.

4. Removal of debris from the grate over this drain fixed everything fast. This was more than I expected too. We all know that this drain is partially clogged. The water and hail was freezing!

5. Within a minute or so, the water drained away surprisingly efficiently, leaving this icy mess on the small patio between the two stairways. It was like a Slurpee mixed with redwood debris.

6. More of the grungy Slurpee remained on the lower patio outside the doorway that lacked adequate sandbags. Water barely crossed the threshold to dampen a few square inches of carpet.

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:

23 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: When It Rains, It Pours

    1. I seriously did not expect the drain to help much. Others have been trying to improve the flow longer than I can remember. It seems to be flowing better now, as if all that water flushed it out. The weather is dry now, with no rain predicted until a 50% chance on Tuesday, and again next Sunday.

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    1. It was surprisingly not very messy. The water flowed into the stream. The Slurpee eventually melted, leaving only the bits of debris that did not get flushed away. The only mess was a few square inches of damp carpet. I can not complain about that.

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  1. Our city maintenance crews finally have gotten smart, and spend time at the beginning of hurricane season re-dredging and clearing city drains along the streets. And, they caution everyone to be sure that any of their drains are cleared, too. It’s such an easy thing to forget, especially since once cleared, they can get covered up again with leaf litter and general debris.

    There’s a large drain in the lawn in front of my neighbor’s apartment. I just went out to check it and make sure it was clear. It is.

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    1. Redwoods constantly drop an abundance of debris. Even is the pavement had been blown immediately prior to the storm, rain and hail brings down more debris. Considering how heavy the rain and hail was, the volume of debris was rather minimal. However, with a bit of trash, it was enough to clog the grate. Fortunately, the drain flowed much better than I expected it to.


  2. That’s a LOT of rain all at once! I’m glad you were able to clear the drain and prevent more serious damage. The rain came to this area overnight — with a truly pea-soup fog that lasted most of the morning!

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    1. Fog sounds like a completely different storm system; although I could see how it happened with the humidity that came afterwards. Ours was likely the combination of a storm crashing into weather from the north. It happens here sometimes here. Yours was likely the same storm but without the weather from the north.


  3. What a lot of rain–and cold at that. I’m glad you saw that it was the drain before there was flood damage. Do you use rain barrels ever during these seasons? Of course that one rain would have had them overflowing.

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    1. I knew the drain was there, but also knew that it did not flow well. The crew I work with has been trying to clear it our for longer than I can remember. I was surprised that it was so effective. It was as if all that water ‘compelled’ it flow better. Rain barrels would not be practical for this area, since the roofs and paved areas are so vast. Even minimal rainfall produced huge volumes of runoff. Besides, the stream that runs through the landscape flows the same all year, and the spring above it provides water for the neighborhood.


    1. There is a spring that always flows just a few yards to the left of that spout. Farther uphill, it supplies the water for the neighborhood. We need no more water. If you ever happen to see Miley Cyrus’ video for ‘Malibu’ the waterfall that she is under is where the stream from the spring falls into the confluence of Zayante Creek (which flows past my home) and Bean Creek (which flows through the farm. All three come together in the same spot. Many of us here were not pleased that Miley Cyrus used our waterfall.

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      1. Yes, not many in California are so fortunate. We all get water somehow, but the perceived scarcity is used politically. It would be so much easier if people accepted that we live in a chaparral and desert region (except for places like ours).

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