Friday, 10 July 2020

Blocked Jet Stream

        I am a great believer in the jet stream and when I watch weather forecasts I like to be shown where the jet stream is.  Generally it appears as a well defined steeply wavy line that moves across North America.  If the line lies south of our section of BC it generally means cool and damp weather caused by the cooler air being drawn down from the north.  If the jet stream lies north of us, warmer air and drier air gets sucked up to us from the south.  It is the constant moving of the jet stream and its waves that give us the periodic changes of weather
    The other day a weather broadcast stated that the jet stream was blocked and stagnant so we keep getting the same weather, over and over and over again.  And that same weather is rain and showers that is what is causing the Robson Valley so much trouble with flooding and mudslides.
     When I tried to find a jet stream map over the last couple of days, I could see no well defined line, just fragments.  It was not re-assuring.
    The photos show the thick clouds that have been engulfing our mountains.

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Thursday, 9 July 2020

Lots of Well Wishes

    I have been hearing from a lot of friends and neighbors who were concerned about me after learning about my accident.  The emails and phone calls have been constant.  Food has been delivered.  It is sure gratifying to live in such a caring community and to have such good friends.
    Yesterday Jim and Abbie treated us to this “Mudslide” cake with flowing icing and peanuts to represent the rocks coming down.  As you can see the flow down Willox Creek is muddy while Sunbeam is clear but has the rocks.  Abbie was very creative with this tasty gift.
    Thank you to all of you for your well wishes.

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Wednesday, 8 July 2020

The Freak Accident That Cost Me A Finger

    Remember our waterline that had ceased to  work because of the pile of debris that prevented any water from getting into our intake?   At the time I took the photo, the waterfall was running too violently for us to get out there at clear the debris off of the culvert, beside the torrents of water, every so often the falls threw out rocks that came shooting down from above.  
          Well, a few days later the falls had slowed somewhat, so Glen and I hiked up to see if we could get our water going again.  I didn’t see any flying rocks, so we harnessed up and secured ourselves to a nearby tree.  We carefully got ourselves out on top of the culvert and began to push boulders and pry pieces of logs off the edge.  I was working with a shovel, when suddenly a big rock (I think) bulleted against my outstretched left forearm, turning me, and forcing me to me knees.  I yelled at Glen over the roar of the water that I think I broke my arm.
         I got back on my feet and worked my way over to the bank beside the falls and laid down.  Glen followed and I told him again I thought I had broken my arm.  He made me comfortable, then headed off to seek help.  I lay there on the sloping ground with spray from the falls sprinkling down on me.  I started to feel faint and was going into shock, so I tried to position myself with my head low and elevated my legs, propped my feet on the tree, so that I wouldn’t pass out.  
        After being in the spray awhile I started to get hypothermia and began to shiver.  Glen returned and put his jacket around me.  As I lay there I noticed the reddish and beige glove on my left hand.  There was a small frayed and jumbled mass in top of the ring finger.  I assumed the glove must have been grazed by the rock, but then I realized that the small jumbled mass I was seeing was not my glove, but my finger.  I realized I was going to lose my finger and cursed at the thought of not being able to chord my guitar and mandolin
    Finally Search and Rescue arrived and they began trying to figure out how to get me away from the falls and down to an ambulance.   The area beside the falls was too narrow and dangerous for carrying me on a stretcher, and I was feeling strong enough to walk, so that’s what I did, with one of them steadying me from the front and the other from behind.
     When I got to the ambulance, I was bundled up and strapped onto a gurney for the ride to the McBride hospital, where I was examined and X-rayed.   Surprisingly, my forearm that I thought I was broken was alright, but my finger wasn’t.  When I was alone with my wife and tried to communicate about my guitar and mandolin playing, I broke down. 
    I was so impressed with the professionalism and competence all of the local medical, ambulance, and search and rescue staff that had helped me.
    I was then ambulanced for two and a half hours up to the Prince George Hospital, and was put in the Day Surgery Room with numerous others, all waiting for operations. The room slowly emptied out until I was the only one left.   It was about 8:00 PM when my turn came.  It was easy, I was put to sleep and woke up with no pain and one less finger on my left hand.  
       I am back home again.  I figure I will still be able to play the mandolin since most of the chords just use two fingers anyway.  The guitar will be trickier and I won’t be able to do a lot of the Chuck Berry licks I loved doing, but had that rock hit my head instead of my hand, I wouldn’t be here at all.

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Sunday, 5 July 2020

Dramatic Mudslide In the Neighborhood

    Our heavy rains have amplified problems around McBride.  The most dramatic of which occurred just 3/4 of a mile (1.2 kms) west of our house.   Willox Creek, which is generally a benign undistinguished waterway,  let go with a huge mudslide that engulfed a house.  The residents who were inside at the time had to break a window and climb out to escape.  The mud and debris continued on over the road and nearby driveways and just about to another house.
    The area where the slide originated has been surveyed by geo-tech officials who said it was still unstable and that there was danger of additional mudslides.   Numerous households in the area have been forced to evacuate.  Mountainview Road is closed, isolating those people living beyond the slide area, and giving them no access to go anywhere.  
    The photo above was by I. Heise.   You can find additional pictures and read more about the mudslide slide at this link:

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Saturday, 4 July 2020

Why We Have No Water

    We lost our water the other day due to the heavy rains.  Yesterday it was sunny, so Glen and I decided we would hike up to Sunbeam Falls and see if we could do something to our water intake to get it flowing again.  We could hear the falls as we walked through the woods, it sounded as if the water was still rushing downslope pretty hard.
    When I rounded the rock outcropping and was able to see our culvert, I knew we weren’t going to be able to do anything.  Usually the bulk of the creek flow is on the far side of our culvert, but now the torrents are on both sides, because a pile of boulders and pieces of logs had piled up on top of our culvert diverting the flow to both sides.  We have never had  such a debris pile form on top of our culvert before.  The Sunbeam Creek must have been flowing much harder than it had in the last 35 years we have had the waterline.
    Glen wanted to try to get over to the culvert to clear the rocks off of the top of the culvert so some water would go in, giving us water in our waterline, but luckily we were able to talk him out of it; it was just to dangerous, the falls continues to drop another 65 ft. below our culvert.
    It looks like we will be living without running water in the house for a few days until the creek flow slows down, which will allow us to clear all of the debris from the top of our culvert.

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Friday, 3 July 2020

Wild Waters

    The creeks and rivers in the Robson Valley are going through wild times and as a result, those residents who depend on them for water are going through hard times.  Many a water system has stopped working as torrents of water come roaring down the mountain slopes.  The Village of McBride has lost its water, and now depends on tanker trucks bringing water from Prince George.
    Yesterday we lost our water again and ventured out in the afternoon to refill our water containers at friends who get their water from a well.  We came upon a closure of Mountainview Road because Rainbow Creek had been flowing over the road and had washed out the side of the road.  We detoured around to use Koeneman Road and found that it was filling up with water on the curve at the corner of Koeneman Park.
    We wondered if we should continue on with our quest, fearing that we might not be able to get back home upon our return, but we were assured by Highway personal that the problem causing the flooding on Koeneman Road had been corrected and that the flooding would be going down, so we continued on to get our containers filled with drinking and cooking water.
    The photos you see are all the result of Rainbow Creek’s wild day.

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Thursday, 2 July 2020

Too Much Rain

    Last summer and fall you heard me complaining about the excessive amount of rainfall we had been getting, and here it is a year later and I am doing it again.  It just doesn’t want to stop raining.  There are puddles where I have never noticed them before.  The photo shows what my garden looks like.  Many of the heat loving plants are really struggling.
    It is ironic that with all of this rain falling, we are again without water in our house, as the torrents coming down Sunbeam Creek Falls prevent us from correcting our water system.  We are going up again in half an hour to see if we can do something to get our water back.  Wish us luck.

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