2022 ended with what might have been the worst series of storms since 1982. More rain is in the forecast, so the situation has potential to get worse. As I was composing my ‘Six on Saturday’ for last week, Zayante Creek behind the shop buildings at work was coming up higher than it has been in many years. An adjacent neighborhood was evacuated later in the day. Evacuated neighbors parked their vehicles in a big parking lot across Zayante Creek, and partied in the rain until 2023! By then, they could go home on muddy roads. It was a unique way to celebrate the New Year. Picture #1 was yesterday. #2 and #3 were Wednesday. #4, #5 and #6 were last Saturday, 2022.

1. Mudslides caused a few road closures and other damage elsewhere in the region. This was the worst for us. It was mitigated yesterday. Vegetation did not control this erosion.

2. Fallen trees were another major problem elsewhere in the region. A big coast live oak squashed a car nearby. This Italian buckthorn was the worst for us. It damaged nothing.

3. Widowmakers are terrifyingly dangerous during windy weather. All too many free fall silently for more than a hundred feet from the exteriors of canopies of coastal redwoods.

4. David Fritiof Lindberg Memorial Tree is barely visible to the right of the center of the lower edge of this picture. It is immobile, but has never been this close to Zayante Creek.

5. Steven Michael Ralls Memorial Tree resides in the same Memorial Grove as the David Fritiof Lindberg Memorial Tree, so is also now closer to Zayante Creek than it should be.

6. Conference Drive Bridge over Zayante Creek is a short distance north and upstream of the Memorial Grove. At the time, most vegetation was obscured from view under water.

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate: https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/


30 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 2022 Ends II

  1. So now we know what you sound like, that was you talking on the video I presume. I’m very glad we live on high ground, flooding is a horror and living with the threat of it isn’t something I’d want either. Obviously a rare event for you though.

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    1. Mudslides and falling trees are more of a problem for us. Flooding is rarely a problem, but does sometimes happen close to the San Lorenzo River and other creeks. Alviso, where my ancestors established their foundry, flooded commonly years ago. Such floods were harmless to the foundry, and most homes were elevated above the flood level. Floods were not always so common, but the Santa Clara Valley subsided as a result of the removal of ground water for irrigation, and the San Francisco Bay silted in as a result of hydraulic mining for gold in the Sierra Nevada during the Gold Rush.


    1. Yes and no. Warm rain melts snow, which would fill reservoirs prematurely if the reservoirs collected all the water. Reservoirs may not fill so early though. Much of the water is allowed to pass through so that reservoirs can limit later flooding if necessary. They may fill later in the season. Most water here should be stored in the snow of the Sierra Nevada though. Such snow melts through the year, to replenish water in the reservoirs.


    1. It was not so bad for us. It was not nearly as bad as the forecast predicted. Unfortunately though, two wharfs were bashed to bits in Capitola and Aptos, and a historic carcass of a beached ship may be mostly gone by now.

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  2. Terrifying weather conditions. Kudos(?) to those who partied. These extremes are fascinating. What can we do to mitigate the situation? We have schemes here where you can donate to plant more trees. I do this and hope it helps in some small way.

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    1. This is nothing new here. Many of the homes within the flooded neighborhood were built at expendable cabins. Some were built shabbily, with the expectation that they would not last long. However, these cabins are now very expensive residential homes, so are not so expendable. Those within the flooded neighborhood were elevated on high cinder block foundations after the flood of 1982 to keep them safe from floods. Those who partied were not too bothered by the inconvenience. Trees would not help here. Actually, the area is very densely forested with the tallest tree species in the World. There really is no practical way to mitigate flooding here. We just live with it.

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    1. Zayante Creek is right downstairs from here. It does not come up this high though. I am not concerned about it. I am just concerned about more vulnerable buildings within the lower flood plain.

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      1. So are fires and earthquakes. I have lived my entire life here, but have somehow never experienced a natural disaster. Weirdly, most have occurred immediately after I left the respective region. I barely felt the Loma Prieta Earthquake from a safe distance, as I was driving away from here. I left Beverly Hills the night prior to the Northridge Earthquake. I left here the day prior to the evacuation for the CZU Fire. Seriously, I can list several natural disasters, and at least one unnatural disaster, that happened after I left the place where it happened. I think that I should just stay home.

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  3. Yikes! And you must be in the middle of the next storm by now! How are Aptos and Capitola doing, and the concrete ship? We expect to be hit with the next one by this time tomorrow! It’s a wild winter!

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    1. I lost track, but the middle of a brief storm is expected to arrive about midnight. I suspect that it is a remnant of what went through today. Rain is forecast to resume tomorrow evening, and continue until Wednesday, . . . and then resume on Friday. I do not know the conditions of the wharfs of Capitola and Aptos, but both are closed with pieces missing. The concrete ship, or the S. S. Palo Alto (which is known weirdly as the Cement Ship) was bashed up more than it already was, but news about its condition is surprisingly scarce.

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      1. The video of Felton likely showed the flooding in Felton Grove, which is more natural than it seems to be. The homes there were built as temporary cabins many decades ago. Those who built them did not expect them to last for long, since the area floods every few years or so. However, they became very expensive, and therefore less expendable, residential homes. After the floods of 1982, they were elevated onto high foundation walls with parking below. Those who live there just leave with their cars, and let the neighborhood flood.

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    1. Damage is much worse in other regions. The piers in Capitola and Aptos really were severely damaged, and both towns and a few others flooded. It is part of living here. We are fortunate that our damage was not as bad, although it got worse since these pictures were taken. The limb in #3 went through the roof, but stopped on a fire sprinkler pipe before going through the ceiling below.


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