Thursday, January 19, 2012

In the Midst of a Monsoon

Given we are "home of the Ducks" and do live in Oregon...where wetness is inevitable, you'd think we'd be used to pouring down rain.

Well, it is nothing new, but the sheer extent of it in the last 24 hours has been staggering.  We're talking monsoon conditions, folks.  And, wouldn't you know it, but I chose yesterday to do Christmas returns and run errands.  The only bright aspect (besides a coffee date with a college friend, Lauren) was recognizing what a great choice it was six weeks ago to buy a really good rain jacket (the first I've had as an adult).  Yup, put that baby to good use (especially when my umbrella flipped backwards and the wind put a tear in it).

We've had a very dry winter so far, so us Oregonians should be appreciating this.  I'm very happy for the mountains to be piling up with snow - our snow pack is infinitesimal compared to normal at this point.  The ski resorts need the business - and hey, selfishly, when we hit Central Oregon in early February, I'd really like to see snow there vs. our more recent visit's experience.

HOWEVER, this rain is forecast to be coming down for the next 5-7 days.  And, being "day 2", we are already under major flood watches and alerts.  This could be a problem.  When I say "we" - I mean the state of Oregon - not necessarily where I live...we're in a safe spot.   That is NOT the case for my parents, though.  They live in an area that floods frequently when heavy rains come down.  Every few years, we'll see the golf course that runs along the Mohawk River (about a half mile from their home), completely submerged in water - and running a current as its been consumed by the river.  When we were little, we'd go out in the horse pasture during times such as these in a rubber raft and float in our own little lake.

In 1996, a couple of months before I got married, I literally got cut off from my parents house.  I went to a school to take on a sub assignment and before the day was over, the water had cut off the route back home (I was living with Mom and Dad at the time).  Fortunately, my grandparents lived in town, so it wasn't a huge deal - but that was the year that the rain was within a foot of invading their house, and the horses all had to be taken to higher ground.   I googled pictures that would give you an idea....but I didn't find any good ones.

So, we'll have to see - the good news is that in contrast of years past, many of the major flooding happens when the snow pack melts in a hurry.  Given we haven't had much of that and the rivers are only growing because of the rain, we might be physically okay.  Emotionally, though - I'm not sure how my Seasonal Affective Disorder will emerge from 7 days in a row of this kind of gray deluge...

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