There’s a Flood Out in California

Pictures were shot on our wildly misnamed Dry Creek, the earlier ones from Fall, another dry one.

And many predictions were for less rain in Central California because of the lingering  La Niña.

A normal dry October, Folsom Road over Dry Creek, Roseville, South Placer County, 2022.

So far so good on Dry Creek despite record storms. The city has done good work on flow obstruction, downed tree removal and gutter clearance.

Except for this pool and a few others it’s usually easy to wade across, normally. Note invasive water hyacinth here in low waters.
Usually a placid little stream.

Not to mention the recent opening two weeks back of new Roseville water impoundment basins will help reduce flooding and augment water supplies in the 9-month dry season.

Late December 2022, hurrah the rains have begun!

Once your house floods you are then always aware how close we are to the Pacific.

And apprehensive about the huge winter storms that lash the entire West relentlessly on occasion. You are a flood believer.

And then the rain, wind and snow kept coming. And have not stopped since.
New Year’s Day, 2023, 8-10 feet from overflowing the creek berm 50 yards from my house. Never got higher- so far.

However my block and cul-de-sac have not flooded so far since the 1995 big one despite it topping the berm twice in recent years. And causing anxiety in wet years.

I use my neighbor’s steps as a stream gauge, 12 steps lead down. Here it is before the storms.
January 5th, 2023!

Most everyone on the block took advantage of low interest loans back in ’95 to jack up the houses 4-8 ft in the air.

The loans specified no housing allowed on the new ground floor/basement/crawl spaces.

So, good. Except it’s still a floodplain. There is no stopping the water if it’s going to flood, sandbags are futile.

And, inevitably, my neighbors are now worried about the den and the tools, the weight lifting set and storage being ruined. Along with the carpets.

I’m lucky, my landlord sprung for the extra $50k to raise my ratty and antiquated but still solid 1967 gorilla cage tract rental ‘fixer upper’ house four feet.

The kind of cookie cutter houses I used to build with my brother in the 1980s. Dull, but safe as houses Douglas fir construction.

And I’m worried about my tools in the unelevated garage too, for that matter.

So I’m tempting fate in feeling the flood threat is receding, especially since it is raining and blowing hard right now as I tap this out.

Better hurry before the power blows again.

Nice weather for this couple. If the creek was whisky, and I was a diving duck…

That last set of storms were about the strongest I’ve seen in thirty years here and it rose only about half way up its banks. Encouraging.

Then the water receded quickly as usual when there were finally breaks in the march of storm cells.

Two large trees fell, killing power both times. But it was quickly restored (in time for football!).

And the blocked street and alley were chain sawed clear the next day. Kudos to the workers.

So you never know, in this part of the Great Valley/Northeast Foothills, since February is often the wettest month.

I could be whistling past the graveyard with the soaked ground and unending storm rounds.

Since nobody I read called for this ongoing deluge and lashing of wind, rain, snow, hail.

With I-80 and I-50 often being slowed or totally blocked by snow, rock falls and avalanche hazard in the mountains.

Hundreds of fallen trees have smashed houses, cars, unlucky drivers.

Bodies have been found drowned in or near stalled cars, despite other successful rescues.

One mother was pulled from the drowned car OK, but her 5 year old boy was swept away and not found yet.

Day before yesterday the levels had dropped to only 3-4 ft above normal after some rain breaks. Though it is raining hard again right now. About 9.5 ft at height.

Scary to watch little Dry Creek bucketing along with rapids, whirlpools, flotsam and jetsum.

Tree limbs and trash cans heading toward the sea. Or at least the rivers.

These new sand bars have already been submerged and flushed away, to be deposited again downstream.

But me and my neighbors know what happens when Cyclone Bomb ‘Atmospheric Rivers’, many times bigger than the Mississippi, hit us and then linger.

You take the family to live for six months at the Roseville Tennis Village thanks to FEMA.

While your house dries out and gets refurbished. If my experience is any guide.

But you’ve got to live in hope when you are a Soggy Bottom Boy. As I have the honor to be.

Unless noted, all text and images by

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s