The old saying about the weather is that everybody complains about it, but nobody does anything. Well, if I could do something I’d stop the rain. Although it is sunny out right now, it did rain this morning and it seems like most of the last month. Oh, I know we need rain for the crops and such, but enough is enough. It’s not actually the rain I mind anyway, but the side effects. I don’t mind a shower or two, and I love big old thunderstorms, especially when they roll though at night, but too much rain brings problems.
The most immediate one is flooding. Luckily most of the land around here is pretty hilly, and that means that the kind of general area flooding that they have been having down South lately is pretty rare, unless, of course, you live down on the flood plain by the river (location, location, location). We live up on the hill, and that means we stay pretty dry, except our garage, which is dug in under the house. All the storm water runs down from the street, and right into our garage. There are drains to prevent that, of course, the little piddly one that they put in when they built the house, and then the big trench drain that I put in a couple of years later. Unfortunately both of them clogged up during a heavy downpour when we weren’t home and the result was a couple of inches of water in the garage and shop. Damage was minimal, as I learned long ago at the mill, not to put any thing on the floor. So all our stuff is up on blocks, skids or shelves. I got the drain cleared out, and now the problem is to dry everything out. I always have a dehumidifier running in the shop and I added a second one in the garage. If you aren’t familiar with dehumidifiers, they are electric appliances that work similarly to a portable air conditioner . They have a refrigeration system that cools the room air and condenses the water out of it. This water ends up in a pan or, more conveniently, is routed to a floor drain with a hose. Dehumidifiers are worth their weight in gold in this kind of weather and we also have one in the store basement.
After work today I’m heading over to my Mom’s to check her garage. It is set up the same way as ours, and of course, suffers from the same flooding problem. I used my utility pump on it the other day and now it is pretty much dry. A utility pump is a handy device that you can hook up to a garden hose to pump water out of your flooded garage, basement, et cetera. They are kind of slow (unless you spring for a big one), but they get the job done. Now I have to finish clearing out mom’s floor drains that are all full out roots and gravel from the drive. I just don’t understand it , they used to work great when my Dad put them in just 45 years ago. I guess that some things just don’t last.
The other main problem with rainy weather takes a couple of weeks to come out. Of course I’m talking about mosquitoes. We live just up the hill from a large flat area next to the Cuyahoga river. It’s supposed to be a grassy meadow this time of year, but right now it’s a five acre swamp. Yes I know that they are ecologically valuable wetlands, but right now, when they are breeding mosquitoes by the millions, they are just SWAMPS! In the old days they would just drain them and be over with it, but now I cringe when I hear that some developer has to put in more wetland to make up for some lost in the development. We have so many mosquitoes in our yard that you can’t even go outside. When I went out to my car this morning to go to work, I had about half a dozen in with me before I could even close the door. I don’t believe in sprays or poison, so the only thing to do is to wait them out, it’ll be Fall before you know it.