Sunday, 25 November 2012

Sandbagged

That's us. I wish Blogger would let me show you the photographs of what we had to put in place last night. Sandbags, large sacks of John Innes No. 2, and sections of leftover stone flags from the hall, all stacked in the porch, keeping the water at bay - we hoped - as the rain continued remorselessly to fall. The brook, so musical in its summer gurgling, roared; a torrent of strong dark tea - or rather, water straight off Exmoor - spilling over its retaining wall and surging madly down our road.

Everyone was out until after midnight, protecting their doorways as best they could. We had walked home from dinner with a friend at the top of the hill, growing ever more alarmed as we approached our own home, gradually wading ankle deep in the swirling brown water, and dreading the possibility of discovering a flooded cottage and outraged cats. 

The Gardener, sleepy from dinner, including a surfeit of lemon posset, and intending to sleep within five minutes of getting home, turned immediately back into a Proper Practical Bloke. Wide awake, changing sodden shoes for wellies, finding the torch and the sandbags (no mean feat in our chaotic linhay) and organising a barrier in the porch to divert any sudden surge of water, he also checked on elderly neighbours, exchanged opinions with others on the state of the brookside vegetation further up the road, and finally tumbled into bed two hours later, leaving a collection of sodden clothes downstairs. 

Meantime, I flapped anxiously about indoors, lifting rugs, shifting precious items up above water level, making cups of tea (so essential in any dramatic situation!) and trying to stop the thoroughly-rattled animals from fighting each other or getting underfoot. I didn't sleep until after 3, and was up again at 5, to find the road clear, apart from the pebbles and mud that the water had washed down. We hadn't been flooded, but others had (see here).

But the sand/compost bags will remain in place; it rains and rains and rains....

19 comments:

rusty duck said...

Keep safe and dry Rachel. Thinking of you. Jx

dinahmow said...

Like April all over again! Very pleased you were/are OK. Very sorry for those others.
(Could you send me a couple of jam jars of water, please? Getting concerned here!)

Gwen Buchanan said...

How smart you guys were to have sandbags on hand... hope the weather clears up and doesn't cause any more hardships. xo

the veg artist said...

Hoping you are still OK and that this terrible weather passes soon. Enough is enough!

Isabelle said...

Oh dear, poor you (though I'm glad it didn't actually happen). We were thinking about you. Our actor son-in-law is in a show in Taunton; also a bit damp. (Taunton today, Hollywood tomorrow.)

(Good grief, that number thing is unreadable. Grr.)

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

It all looks horrendous . I hope you remain unscathed and life returns to normal very soon .

alice c said...

First - so glad that you are dry. My parents live by a river in Cornwall and are sandbagged too. It is so worrying and yet you are powerless when the water level starts to rise.

Second - thanks to your post we will be getting some sandbags just in case. It's going to be a long winter.

Marcheline said...

Just reading this was stressful! I think I need a cup of tea. Stay dry! Keep us posted!

Sue said...

You paint a vivid picture of the situation without the need for photos. Thank goodness the waters were averted. Keeping fingers crossed.

lovethosecupcakes said...

Hope the flood water was kept at bay. Apparently snow is on the way.....

Frances said...

I am glad I live on a hill! So sorry for all who live near water. Hope you keep dry.

annie hoff said...

Hope all the water drains away soon - and not in the direction of your cottage. We can come and dig a moat for you if you like! Our drains, in answer to your question, are just to take excess rain water that doesn't run off the land. We've put in a french drain that empties into a burn and then the loch

Anonymous said...

Poor you. We are getting quite wet in North Yorkshire.

Jen said...

Oh that's scary. I hope the waters stayed at bay!

jabblog said...

There's nothing like an emergency for helping the digestion;-) I hope the flood waters continue to remain outside your home.

frayedattheedge said...

Glad you stayed dry - we were thinking about you when we saw the news reports of the floods.

Danielle P. said...

Fingers crossed that the water stays away... What a stressful time it must have been — those cups of tea were surely welcome!

mountainear said...

Phew! That was close. Have been thining of you and poor deluged Somerset and had memories of a sweet little tinkling stream. Amazing how powerful water can become in quantity.

Take care.

The Weaver of Grass said...

We are having it just as bad up here in North Yorkshire. Luckily our farm is not in danger but the fields opposite have turned into lakes and the village , which suffered greatly a couple of months ago and is just recovering, has had a very close call. Luckily the water is now receding and bright weather is forecast for tomorrow, but I do sympathise with you - the prospect is terrible and the relief when it doesn't happen is tremendous.

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