19 December 2009

Rain and Flooding

I’ve always worried a lot about flooding in our yard. If we have a hard enough rain, our garage will flood. Our lot slopes toward the back, away from the house, and there’s a depression, not really a ditch, that runs along the back of the property, where rain is supposed to collect. I think there was also a ditch along our neighbor’s lot that is supposed to take the water from there, but it’s been filled in. I was planning a rain garden in the lowest part of that depression, but after Friday’s rain – at least four inches – I’m rethinking the idea. From what I’ve read, rain gardens need to drain in 24 hours, which this does not – in the worst cases. I need something, like a bioswale, that will hold more water and keep the rest of yard dry.

It rained all day Friday, and when I got home from work, most of the yard was flooded. The vegetable garden area was almost underwater – my decision to use raised beds has proven to be the right one. Since I really couldn’t do anything about it, I decided to wade out into the lowest part of the yard and measure how deep it was. It turns out it was a foot deep!

By Saturday the water had soaked in a good bit. There was still water in the depression and the yard was pretty soggy, but the worst was over. Too bad my rain barrels were already full! The morning paper reported widespread flooding, so much that they closed all roads into downtown Charleston at 6pm.

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