December 07, 2015

Liquid sunshine

We got an inch and a half of rain over about 18 hours last night and this morning, and the creek responded about as you'd expect.


That's how it looked at 11:30.


And that was 4:00, after the flooding passed.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 07:06 PM | Comments (13) | Add Comment
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Posted by: Steven Den Beste at December 08, 2015 07:54 AM (+rSRq)

2 Your beaver's construction techniques appear to be much more sophisticated these days...

Posted by: Siergen at December 08, 2015 03:33 PM (De/yN)


That thing is the only way to get across the creek. When it wasn't there, you had to jump across a cut the water had made. There are a couple of big concrete pipes under there which were supposed to carry the water, but they got clogged up a long time ago.

So there wasn't really any reasonable way to get lawn mowers over to the other side each summer to cut down all the brush over there. It was kind of fun watching the guy build that.

As to why it's blocked on both sides with "keep out" signs? Federal law. If it's accessible to the public, it has to be wheel-chair accessible. Never mind that there isn't any way to get wheelchairs down there, nor is there anything on the other side that a cripple (like me) would want to reach. The law admits of no exceptions.

So they had to block it off, to make it legal to build.

The rain has been heavy again today, and the water is back up again. I was wondering if it might rise enough to float that thing off. It isn't anchored in place; it's just sitting there. But the water would have to rise a hell of a lot more to reach it, and the only way that could happen is if we got like 10 inches in a day.

It's an exponential target; each additional foot of rise requires a lot more water than the previous one, both because the channel gets wider and because the water is faster running off.

I learned about that law when I worked at BBN. The main campus was on one side of a railyard and the building I was in was on the other side. To walk around would have been about three miles, so the fence got kicked down and we walked across.

The railroad company kept complaining about it, so BBN investigated the possibility of building a foot bridge. But it turned out it would have been too expensive, because the law would have required it to be wheel-chair accessible, and that would have tripled the cost.

What they eventually did was to start running a shuttle bus back and forth, and most of us just kept walking across the railyard. (I myself only used the shuttle when the weather was bad.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at December 08, 2015 04:40 PM (+rSRq)

4 Actually, the beavers did build a dam right there, just to the right (upstream) side of the culvert, in the last year. That's about the third time since I've been here for that location. Gene (the handyman) pulled a lot of the junk out of the way to open things up a bit, which is where all that crap on the far bank came from.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at December 08, 2015 04:46 PM (+rSRq)


Sharon (the apartment manager) said they had at one point considered ripping all of that out and building a real bridge there instead.

But it would have been a titanic logistics hassle, because there isn't any way to get any kind of powered equipment in. If you wanted even one of those baby back-hoes, the only way would be to bring it in with a helicopter. Which would be a huge problem in a lot of ways; there are tall trees, so the thing would have to dangle from at 50 meter cable if not longer. And I wonder what kind of permits you would need to run a helicopter that low over dense residential area?

On the other hand, doing it all with muscle power would be slow and really preposterously expensive and difficult.

So that isn't going to happen.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at December 08, 2015 04:52 PM (+rSRq)

6 Train the beavers.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at December 08, 2015 05:15 PM (PiXy!)

7 But we'd have to give them tools, too, and who knows what that would lead to?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at December 08, 2015 07:28 PM (+rSRq)

8 An army of rogue civil engineers rampaging across the Pacific Northwest upgrading the infrastructure.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at December 08, 2015 07:42 PM (PiXy!)

9 But everything would be beaver-sized.

Posted by: Wonderduck at December 08, 2015 08:38 PM (zAcee)


(Shiver) That prospect is even more terrifying than the ducks.

I wonder if we could get them to fight each other to neutralize both threats, like the Daleks and the Cybermen.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at December 08, 2015 08:55 PM (+rSRq)

11 The Ducks win, of course.  I believe they've beat the Beavers the last 8 years running, but alas they keep coming back for more.

Posted by: David at December 08, 2015 11:16 PM (+TPAa)

12 Step 1: get the beavers to upgrade their dams to provide hydro power.
Step 2: pay the beavers in delicious fish.
Step 3: profit!

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at December 09, 2015 02:21 AM (v29Tn)


Step 2: pay the beavers in delicious fish.

No!  We're already dealing with those stupid sea lions and cormorants.  The Tribes will lose their mind if we start promising fish to the beavers.

Posted by: CatCube at December 09, 2015 06:43 AM (fa4fh)

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