Thursday, May 07, 2009

Rain, rain go away (...and Wild Geraniums)

Another .75 inch of rain fell on the mountain yesterday, most of it last evening. I managed to quickly snap a few photos of the wild geraniums around the cabin before the next round of rain hit. Right now, the geraniums are the most prevalent of the local wildflowers. I can’t walk along the side of the cabin without having to dodge them. There are dozens of them around the cabin right now.

Lest you think that living in a cabins in the woods is all peace, quiet and wildflowers, the rain is forcing me to deal with a flooded basement. Even on a mountain, such things happen. In my case the water enters around the well casing. I’ve had plumbers look at it but none have yet come up with a good solution. It’s ground water from soaked ground, and even if I managed to completely block it at this entry point, the water would only go someplace else and the someplace else could be worse than where it goes now. Or so they say.

As a result, over the years I have armed myself with a variety of pumps. My basement is nothing more than a small space that houses the hot water heater and the electrical panel—all of which are raised off the floor of the basement. The little space can quickly get several inches of water in it. If it’s been dry, it takes a good many inches of rain to flood it. In spring, I often get a flooded basement when the snow melts off the mountain. This rain, which has been going on since Saturday, has the mountain pretty saturated, and I wasn’t surprised to discover an inch of water in it this morning.

I have both battery-powered pumps and an electric pump. The electric pump is a workhorse but requires a bit of work to set up. The battery-powered pumps are small, lightweight handheld things, originally designed for small sport boats. They are good for small jobs and have the advantage of working when the electricity is out. That wasn’t the case this time around, but it was after one such instance when my electric pump was useless that sent me looking for something that would work when I didn’t have power.

This morning, I set up both battery-powered pumps, and both were sucking air within an hour. I still have a slightly wet basement. None of the pumps will pump when the depth is much less than .25 inch. At least I shouldn’t get any more rain today. Tonight, perhaps a few showers but apparently nothing measurable is expected to fall, for which I am grateful.


Lynne said...

I never occurred to me that mountain ground could become rain saturated. Hope you dry out soon.

Carolyn H said...

Lynne: Water in the basement came as a surprise to me, too, when I saw it the first time. You just never know...

Carolyn H.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Could you build a little mixing-bowl sized sump hole for the pickups? Something where—once the main floor water has been pumped out—a sponge could suck up the rest?

Re. water on a mountain…some of the worst flooding I've ever had to dodge around (and occasionally been stymied by) over years of rambles have occurred in the hills and foothills of Appalachia—from southeastern-Ohio to Georgia. To think that all water run downhill immediately is to learn that physics apparently don't apply to nature in ways we completely understand. At least I don't understand how a road can be hubcap deep on my pickup on to of a mountain while the asphalt is merely wet in the valley!

Not to rub it in or anything…but…IT HASN"T RAINED HERE TODAY!

Anonymous said...

Yuck on the flooded basement..however your wildflowers are delightfull!

Pablo said...

Keep your powder dry.

Carolyn H said...

Griz: the floor of my basement is concrete, so a sump hole requires more work than I can do myself. Yes, I could get someone else to do, I guess, but so far I've been able to deal with water using the pumps I have.

No rain here and today the sun is actually out! Though thunderstorms later today are expected. Still, it's a big improvement!

Carolyn H.