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Are you in the path of Hurricane Sally?   The Newsy You: News of Today

Started Sep-15 by Carol Ann (Knit_Chat); 472 views.
Carol Ann (Knit_Chat)

Poll Question From Carol Ann (Knit_Chat)

Sep-15

Are you in the path of Hurricane Sally?
  • Yes. And we have to evacuate.0  votes
    0%
  • No. But we're going to get flooding from the rain.2  votes
    15%
  • I live far from where it's going to hit11  votes
    84%
Yes. And we have to evacuate. 
No. But we're going to get flooding from the rain. 
I live far from where it's going to hit 

So far away it might as well be on the other side of the world.

Showtalk
Staff

From: Showtalk 

Sep-17

You don’t even get any rain out of a storm like that?

We got some rain from the remnants of Hurricane Gilbert in the early 1990s, and we've gotten some from remnants of Pacific storms that came up from Mexico. We actually got a LOT of rain from a Pacific hurricane a decade or so ago that lashed the Baja, then crossed the Sea of Cortez to the mainland, lost most of its winds and then went north right over us, where its dissipating remnants wrung out the remaining moisture like a big sponge in the sky

There was no real wind at all from those storm remnants - just a couple of days of steady monsoon like drizzling rain that flooded everything.

Showtalk
Staff

From: Showtalk 

Sep-24

If it flooded, it must have been a big drizzle.

Yeah, 9 inches of rainfall in 24 hours in an area that is semi-desert with clay type soil turns the whole region into a quagmire.

In places that has deep sandy soil from the surface down to the aquifer, though, such a torrential rain is quickly soaked up by the sand dunes. You just don't want to try and walk / drive on the sand while it's still wet as you'll lose your shoes in the muck or plant the car to the axles for 24 hours, but once all the water has drained more than 24 inches down, you have a nice hard surface, often within less than an hour after the rain stops, and better than when it's as dry as planet Irakus and sand worms lurking to attack spice mining.

Where it's clay soil, it turns into a swamp because the clay won't really soak up the water, but traps it. This provides valuable mosquito breeding habitat so that West Nile, and maybe even malaria and yellow fever outbreaks can happen.

That's also when we just quietly get 5 gallon cans of diesel fuel and pour slicks onto the larger puddles about 48 hours after the rain stops.. this kills mosquito larvae by suffocating them, and the hydrocarbon layer, barely a few thousandths of an inch deep, will actually evaporate and oxidize due to the high surface area, once it has done its job killing mosquito larvae.

I'm pretty sure there's "highly obstructive bureaucrats" that would throw a total hissy fit from such deliberate introduction of hydrocarbons into the environment. But those bureaucrats need to get bitten by mosquitoes carrying, say, yellow fever, and suffer from that for a while to change their tune.

It takes days to weeks for the water to slowly evaporate when it's trapped in dirt roads by the clay soil. That's why some of us acquired a small fire / waste water pump to drain the roadways. You set up 100 feet of fire hose to reel out through the brush with a big agricultural sprinkler set at the end that can deliver about 200 gallons per minute or so, and set the engine and pump on the back of a 40 foot flatbed.

This lets you back the thing into fairly deep water and still have a platform to walk on from dry (well muddy) land. You then just drop the pump suction into the water, start the engine, and let the hose swell up and then water jets out of the sprinkler onto higher ground where runoff is away from the puddle.

The much larger surface area lets it evaporate faster, and it often runs off to areas with more porous soil where it can start recharging the aquifer.

It usually takes a couple of days to pump out the lake near the mailboxes after such a rain. So usually the trailer is left parked in the flooded road with a battery powered set of yellow flashing lights all night long. Someone goes out at 3 hour intervals to check that everything is running, move the suction line as needed, refuel the engine.

Then sometimes you need to back up to the trailer and move it into deeper water as the water level comes down, so it doesn't expose the suction intake. Eventually you're backed nearly 8 feet lower than the high spots, with the suction intake at the very deepest spot on the bottom of the "lake". Once it's within about 18 inches depth, that's when someone needs to get their waders on and a flashlight and go supervise the thing.

Usually you can pump it down to less than 3 inches depth if you take a shovel, wade out and dig a small sump that is maybe a foot deeper than the natural depth, and drop the intake into this new underwater hole.

When it finally sucks air, it's time to shut off the pump and drain it so it won't freeze and burst during the winter, go out and roll up all the fire hose and drain it out as you go, and all that is loaded onto the trailer. Last step is raise the tongue strut once it's attached to the truck, tow the beast home, (or move it to another "lake" in the road that needs pumping out), and eventually put the pump and hoses and stuff away, pour some Sta-Bil into the gas tank if needed.

We use ethanol free gas to fill the tanks on all the small engines such as pumps, generators, tillers, mowers, etc. since it's less likely to deteriorate in storage during the off season. The book says you're supposed to drain the tanks and purge the carburetors - but usually I don't do that unless I'm pretty confident that the equipment will spend more than 6 months in storage.

The generators, I start them at least bi-weekly and try to switch the whole house onto generator power to give the engine time to heat up and cook out any condensed moisture, fully seat the piston rings, and all the other things that help make sure it will start and run properly under a real emergency - like when it's 118 degrees and the power is out and air conditioning has to be gotten back on-line fast.

Winter generator running has far less load. Usually it's just some heat trace tape to keep pipes from freezing, and the furnace blower and lights and computers. Summer loads are usually maximum system demand.

Showtalk
Staff

From: Showtalk 

Sep-24

That is a torrential rain, not a little trickle. California and Oregon need rain.  By the time they get anything substantial, the wild brush will be destroyed and then they will have mudslides and water damage to deal with. You are fortunate to have extra generators. Most people don’t, or they make so much noise, neighbors would complain.

Showtalk said:

You are fortunate to have extra generators. Most people don’t, or they make so much noise, neighbors would complain.

That is why I specifically decided decades ago that the presence of neighbors that would whine about basic preparations for disaster, e.g. HOA Karens, were a disqualifying feature for any real estate.

Most people out here are smart enough to realize that having a generator and a few supplies is a good thing. The ones who don't, aren't the kind of people who would deal with the inconvenience of not having a Starbuck's around every corner.

But then part of the directions to get out here includes "turn right onto the 2nd dirt road.."

The people who live in town, however, often find themselves in a predicament incompatible with surviving disaster. But we long term survival types tend to make choices to not live in those kind of places among the "goblins" that will be doomed when TSHTF.

However - the pandemic has woke up a lot of people who would have whined about generator noises pre-pandemic, who might now have one of their own.

Of course those unlucky people living in high-rise apartments are simply doomed when a wide variety of disasters unfold. In the 1970s I quickly calculated that the big cities are a death traps in quite a few scenarios, so those and immediate suburbs of major metro areas became "no go zones".

Showtalk
Staff

From: Showtalk 

Sep-25

There are areas where a generator is illegal too.

Showtalk said:

There are areas where a generator is illegal too.

There are areas where one should never, ever move to, and get out if they were born there the moment they are able to.

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