Sunday, 15 June 2014

A roaring fordie

The lack of an upper case 'f' should give a clue to any petrol-headed reader that this isn't about the exploits of a V8 racing car.  It is of course about our drive crossing Whiskers Creek.

Matters were a bit damp here yesterday (and not exactly drought-stricken today).  We had received about 5mm yesterday morning and another 5mm when we returned from an excellent lunch at about 1600.  Then it rained steadily and by about 20:30 the total was around 25mm.  So I fired up my headlight and went to check the state of play at the ford.

The Creek was about as full as it could get without going over the drive.  I didn't have my camera with me so this image shows the water level by the yellow line added to a photo taken on Sunday at 0930.
At that level we can, from the house,  hear the Creek running.  It is definitely more a roar than the alliterative  "babble" beloved of effete Pommie poets where contemplating brooks.

It continued to rain on and off through the night (totaling to about 33mm for the event thus far) and when we took the dog for our morning walk on Sunday it was obvious from the position of some debris that the Creek had gone over the drive at some point. The main story is that there was very, very little damage (and none to the concrete surface).  This shot shows the upstream side of the crossing.
 Here is the downstream side.
The most interesting observation is emphasised in this closer image.  I had followed advice from the concreter to put some turfs against the edge of the concrete.  It is very obvious that where I had done so there was no erosion whereas the gravel had been washed away between them.
Obviously I have an appointment with my spade and some more turf in a few minutes!

The next two images show the state of the new pipe and the original pipe at 0930.  As always, the creek has risen quickly and dropped quickly.

The foreshadowed wielding of the spade (yes, despite my love of obscure commentary I do sometimes call a spade 'a spade') has happened.  Here is the digging implement in action.
Here are the sods (in a horticultural sense) in position, and having been giving a bit of wellie to fix them in situ.  I am just hoping that they get rooted (in a botanical sense) before the next flood.
 I have also installed a Haeth Robinson depth gauge.  The core is a star picket sunk about 25cm into the ground and covered with a conveniently sized length of polypipe.  The lowest yellow tape is the level of the ford and the highest is 70cm which is the specified wading depth of El Camion.
Having seen: 
  1. the rate at which water flows across this area when the Creek is in spate; and
  2. the short time needed for the water level to drop
I'd need extreme circumstances to try crossing if the water was above the second tape (@ 25cm deep).

Later in the day we went for a walk around the block to see what was occurring.  Everywhere was a tad damp, and Canyon Creek was running well.  This is closer to babbling.  Here are a couple of snaps of the water in the Canyon.

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