Today’s Flood

Not as big a deal as last Wednesday’s flood.

For those of you interested in the flash flood situation at my sometimes-waterfront property…

It started raining about an hour ago and, for a while, it was raining hard enough to force the water in through previously unknown gaps around two of the windows in my house. Yes, water was coming in. But not enough to get upset about.

The roof dumped all of its water into our yard. The one drainage hole in the snake wall must be clogged because the water started filling the side yard. Not a big deal as it’s sloped away from the house.

The wash started flowing about 10 minutes after it started pouring. The wash drains the area northeast of Vulture Peak, which we can see from the back of our house. So if it’s raining hard at our house, that doesn’t mean the wash will flow past it. It must be raining hard between our house and Vulture Peak for us to get waterfront property.

Today was the third time that has happened in 8 days. Last Wednesday was the biggest flow I’d seen in the 10 years we’ve lived here. It ran again on Saturday, but we were out of town and missed it. Here’s the shot from this afternoon. Not very impressive, is it?

Another Flood

One thing to note here. You see those three roundish things on the lower right side of the photo? Those are the concrete balls around the base of my neighbor’s new fence posts. The fence was installed less than six months ago. Each of those balls is at least a foot and a half in diameter. That didn’t keep the posts in. The fence was washed downstream over my other neighbor’s driveway. He evidently dragged them back upstream with his ATV to get them off his driveway.

His driveway, of course, was washed away again. No big deal. It isn’t paved.’

Oops! Lights just went out for about 20 seconds. Good thing I have a UPS. The lightning is close.

RadarA quick look at the weather radar shows a Flash Flood Warning. I live right around the “e” in Wickenburg on this map. The storm seems to be moving northeast, which is odd. But I might be reading the motion loop wrong.

This might not seem like a big deal to most folks who are accustomed to rain and flooding. But here in Arizona, the weather is about as perfect as you can get at least 300 days out of the year. It’s only for about one to two months a year that we get these exciting storms and the flooding that goes with them. Living right on a wash makes life interesting.

You see, as long as the wash is flowing, I’m pretty much stuck here at home. And anyone who wants to come here is just out of luck.

Well, it looks like this one is winding down. No excitement. But for the next one, I’ll try to include some video. Got to go find that darn camera.

4 thoughts on “Today’s Flood

  1. This is an EXCELLENT question.

    A “snake wall” is a low wall — usually 2 to 3 feet tall — that surrounds a person’s home. They’re quite popular in Arizona, where there are lots of snakes.

    In our case, the snake wall defines our immediate yard — beyond the wall is the unmaintained raw desert area that’s part of our property. Inside the wall, we pull weeds, plant bushes and trees and flowers, and use irrigation to keep everything that’s not native alive.

    Our snake wall has two very large openings — one in the front yard and another at the side of the house — where any kind of critter, including a snake, could easily get through. Of course, many of these critters could also easily jump the wall. That’s usually how the deer, javelina, rabbits, and coyotes I’ve seen in the yard get in.

    A lot of people seem to think that a snake wall will keep out snakes. I think that’s where the name comes from. A friend of ours was quite surprised to find a 5-foot rattlesnake in her backyard, not understanding how it had managed to get past the snake wall. But as you point out and I illustrated with photos ( for the folks who missed it), snakes can climb cacti. So how can a stuccoed and painted cinder block wall keep them out?

    The answer: it can’t.

    But they still call them snake walls. Go figure, huh?

  2. No snakes? Not at all? Wow!

    We have quite a few here in Arizona. I like them. Very interesting creatures. Of course, they’re not quite as attractive when they’re poisonous.

    Or actually, they’re MORE attractive because the poisonous ones are often brightly colored.


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