Sunday, December 2, 2012

Winter's Here! Road Closures, Power Outages, and More!

This week the rains returned to Northern California, and with a vengeance that I haven't seen here since 1996/1998. Since mid-week we've had 11 inches of rain at our Boonville property. We have multiple trees down on the property, and this morning awoke to a power line down!

Didn't want to get too close, but you can see the power line drooping down next to the tractor.
Needless to say, we're still without power at the family homes, but, very lucky for us, the winery derives its power from the lines that go into town, so all is open, well and warm at Foursight! In fact, Foursight has served as our teeth-brushing, tidying up station all morning, as our wells don't work without power, so no electricity means no water either!

Mid-morning, Cal Trans also closed Highway 128 to the coast. Now, this is normal once a year, maybe twice during wet years. There are several ways to get around it, but it does make it a longer trip to the Mendocino area. The one annoying thing: they place the giant closure sign right smack dab in front of our winery. Notice the Foursight sign in the photo, below. Yes, it does make it convenient for me to see if the road is open or closed, but it's hard to notice the winery when you're staring at a flashing sign declaring a full highway closure!




I was tipped off this week to a very cool site with more river gage information than I had seen before: it shows not only current flows, but historical data. Being a fourth-generation Boonter, I have heard my father tell tales of floods in years past, but being able to see the data is very interesting. There is a mark on a tree in Navarro that supposedly shows the water level during one of the historic floods. I'm not sure of which year, but 40 feet of water might do it!

(1) 41.13 ft on 01/16/1974
(2) 40.64 ft on 12/22/1964
(3) 40.60 ft on 12/22/1955
(4) 39.81 ft on 12/31/2005
(5) 38.20 ft on 12/15/1937

http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=eka&gage=nvrc1

I imagine our power will be back on by the end of the day, but for now I'm happy to be at the winery, enjoying the electricity!

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