The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Not a 100-year flood (yet)

Flood map

I'm pretty sure our current flood is the biggest one since we've moved to the farm, but you shouldn't be alarmed --- we won't be getting our feet wet any time soon.  We live up on an abruptly-raised plateau that allows us to survey the floodwaters, but we'd need an astounding amount of rain for the water to get up this high.  In fact, we aren't even at 100-year flood levels yet.


Old-timers in the area tell me they remember when a flood extended all the way to the old house, which used to sit on the south side of our front garden.  I can't really imagine that much water, and suspect those old-timers might have the house confused with another one back in this holler, but it's possible.

Roosting chickens

Besides the alligator swamp bridge floating out of place (already happened), the most-likely flood event we'd have to deal with is evacuating the chickens from their current coop to the one we usually use for broilers.  During a break in the rain, our flock was out foraging at the edge of the floodwaters, but they soon settled back on their roosts to wait out the storm.

Even chicken-evacuation is unlikely.  Instead, we're hoping the floodwaters recede before we run out of stockpiled fruit and library books, and before our chicken waterer customers get antsy.  Other than those three things, we're pretty much self-sufficient up on our island.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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We don't have a flood, but it's pretty soggy here in NC as well. I told my husband we were going to need to use our canoe for transportation soon. Maybe you need an escape canoe for emergencies :-) The sun is finally shining on us today. Hopefully the sun will shine on you soon.
Comment by Tammy Fri Jan 18 08:45:18 2013

It looks as if some of the flooding is near the 100 year. Is that side a steep rise? I hope the golf cart is ok.

I looked at your flood dates, and I would expect the cluster of winter dates. It is the rainy season along the east coast, and where you are is elevated and always near the warm side of storms. What becomes snow events up here in NE are likely to at least start as rain events down there.

I was surprised though at the lack of August-September events. Tropical systems often rain out in the Tenn, Ky, WV, and VA areas. Do any of the long term local have tales about big fall events?

Comment by Gerry Fri Jan 18 09:22:12 2013
Glad we live a safe 150' above the valley floor. Looking forward to you articles on getting your golf cart back to working order.
Comment by mona Fri Jan 18 10:50:27 2013
Here's to hoping the waters don't rise much more! Are those Marans in the top left corner of the chicken picture? They look like them but with even bigger combs and wattles. How do they fare in freezing temps? Any issues with frostbite?
Comment by J Fri Jan 18 11:29:32 2013

We've only got a bit of generator time left, so I'm hoping I'll hit everyone's questions. If I miss some, please forgive me!

Gerry --- We live up on a plateau that rises abruptly above the floodplain. That's the plateau cutoff you're seeing.

Mona --- Yep, it was my fault the golf cart was down there, so I'll be seriously in the doghouse if we can't get it going after the dunking.... :-)

J, The Cuckoo Marans are on the right --- I think you're looking at our Australorp rooster? Everyone's been doing just fine in the cold weather so far.

Comment by anna Fri Jan 18 18:21:00 2013

April 1977 flood made it to your barn. Water was about 3' deep on ground floor of red brick house at main road.

I have a photo somewhere of old barn across the road from your mailbox, water was a few feet up in it.

Comment by Bob Fri Jan 18 19:47:20 2013
Bob --- I'd love to see that photo! I don't think there's barn across the road from our mailbox now, though --- maybe it's been torn down?
Comment by anna Sat Jan 19 18:21:59 2013
Barn is long gone. Probably been gone for at least 30 years.
Comment by Bob Sat Jan 19 23:31:25 2013
The 77 flood WAS a hundred year flood. TVA moved much of Clinchport to Duffield after that flood. The water was amazingly high.
Comment by Errol Mon Jan 21 15:45:36 2013

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