Re: [gardeners] Tuesday in the wet and mud

George Shirley (
Wed, 06 Nov 2002 08:09:21 -0600

No basements here Penny, water table is just about a foot under the
surface. We're lucky in that we live on a ridge that is higher than the
surrounding land but we're still only about 25-29 feet above sea level
and it's only about 10 miles to the Calcasieu River and its estuary and
52 miles to the Gulf of Mexico.

Our normal rainfall is about 65 inches per year but in 1991 we had over
100 inches of rain. Lots of flooding in low lying areas, etc. Same thing
is happening now, the local rivers are way out of their beds and we
haven't crested at top flood stage yet. We also have very good drainage,
can get 5 or 6 inches of rain, flood some streets nearby and thirty
minutes later the water is gone. There is an 8 foot diameter storm sewer
under the street in front of our house that flows into a complex system
of storm sewers, some of which are even larger, and then into a canal
system and into the river and then to the Gulf. We're used to lots of
rain so business goes on with just a few more car accidents, a few
houses flooded, etc. I've seen 21 inches of rain fall in 24 hours when a
tropical systems stalls out in the area and then you just stay home and
watch it rain and measure the water rise. Having been raised on this
coast I have never had a house that floods. It's easy to recognize the
signs of flooding in an area, even one that is still au natural, and
avoid building or buying in that area. When we moved here a realtor
offered us a beautiful house on the river at a cheap price, triggering
my suspicions immediately, neglecting to say it had been flooded
repeatedly. A judiciously applied pocket knife showed that baseboards,
etc. were "punky" from being water-logged. We looked for higher ground.

Mildew, yes, the north end of the eaves get green every winter but a
spraying with bleach and water in the spring, followed by a day of
sunshine, and a water hose to spray the stuff off seems to do the job.
We're also used to that. The greenhouse needs spraying inside and out
but that will have to wait. We don't get mildew inside the house since
we have both central air conditioning and central heating, both of which
remove moisture from the air. A little mold on the caulking around the
bathtubs occasionally but, again, a little bleach and water during
routine cleanup takes care of that.

I guess it's just a matter of what you get used to. I wouldn't live
anywhere else except maybe eastern Washington state alongside the
Columbia River, always did like that well-watered high desert.

I have sinus infections annually as does Miz Anne. We're used to those
too, comes with the turf. Only time I didn't have sinus problems was the
year I spent at sea with the U.S. Navy, I guess breathing in all that
salt air prevented it. I used to say that if I ever retired I was going
to head west with a case of Dristan on my shoulder until someone asked
me what that stuff was. There I would settle in and breathe freely.

George wrote:
> George, how does a homeowner cope with 75 inches of rain a year..?
> Or with 21 inches just in one month?  Are you subject to a lot of
> mildew, either on the veggies & fruits or on the buildings?  Is this
> unusual?  Does the water stand around for a long time?  Do y'all
> have a basement?  Questions, questions ....
> We moved three evergreens and planted one new one, last Sunday.
> The rain we are experiencing right now is MOST welcome, since our
> water systems are drained for the winter. Merci, Bon Dieu ...!
> Sounds as if the stuff they are giving you should be able to stop
> that cough -- but in addition, hasn't anyone suggested that you be
> tested for an actual sinus infection?  If you don't cure it, it will
> continue to plague you when you stop the cough medicine ...
> Doctor Mom  <aka Penny>
> .
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