Saturday, December 31, 2005

Batten Down the Hatches!

Northern California is in the midst of some big storms. Not Katrina big, but definitely on the heavy side for storms here. Flooding, high winds, power outages, landslides and of course, lots of rain. We've lost power a couple of times and had lots of small branches down, but no major damage.

But a local radio reporter on KCBS, Doug Sovern, who lives nearby had a brush with death. A couple streets over is Shepherd Canyon, and before the road starts up into the hills it goes through a gully (near the park and fire station, if you know the area). The power was out and it was dark, and he drove into several feet of water across the road. His car floated off the road then sank, and he was unable to open the doors or windows, safety hammer or kick them out. He was down to a foot or so of breathing space in the car before he thought of using his tire iron to smash a window, and he escaped with his life. Pretty amazing stuff -- KCBS has an MP3 of his account on their website if you want to listen to it. But now you know why a lot of Germans have those safety hammers in their cars. The odds of needing one are low, but as a local TV reporter said on a report about the Oakland Fire Department's fireboat, "A fireboat is like any other emergency device. You don't need it at all right up until the time you need it really bad."

Amidst the seriousness of this storm, there was a bit of humor. A headline I spotted on CNN: "California residents urged to leave ahead of storm". Leave? Um...where are we supposed to go? "Hi? Nevada? We're your neighbors. Sorry to drop in unannounced but...". Not that we could go, now. I-80 is closed because of a landslide near Lake Tahoe, and flooding near Fairfield. US 101 and I-5 are closed near the Oregon border because of landslides.

Oh, right. The addition. I'd put tar paper on the roof, and expected some wind and rain before I was able to have the next inspection and put some actual roofing over the tar paper. But I wasn't expecting the pounding storm we just got, with 60 mph wind gusts. It blew out some of the plastic sheeting I'd put over the windows, and despite a couple of strips of wood and lots of staples, blew off some of the tar paper. So the addition got a bit more wet than I would have liked. With Kat's help, I got things battened down again, hopefully more securely this time. There's another big storm on the way.

In the 20-20 hindsight department, I had considered putting on some roll roofing before we left for Florida. But I decided against it, because I might have to take it off for the framing inspection. Oh well. The framing inspection should be this week, as I've finished up the bits of framing and most of the work on the earthquake holdowns.


PJD said...

I didn't know that you'd switched from your regular hired help to the Gorton's Fisherman. I guess that's him up on the roof? (another picture of him)

Unknown said...

Nope. I wouldn't let the Gorton's fisherman work here since he hunts whales. (Never mind he wouldn't find any here, especially on the roof...)