19 September 2015

Floating away

We've been having monsoon rains here in Saint-Aignan for a few days now. Yesterday was incredible. I've never seen rain fall so hard — at least not here. There was some lightning and a lot of rumbling thunder too. At least there was no hail. The cause, apparently, was the remnants of a tropical storm named Henry (Henri?) that moved in off the ocean on Thursday.

Stormy weather

The only silver lining to all the bad weather news is that we didn't see any signs of the leaky roof that we have had on and off for the past five years. The framing around the Velux skylight windows up in the loft seems to have stayed perfectly dry. So did the corner of the kitchen ceiling that developed a bad leak a couple of years ago.

 You can see "ropes" of rain (des cordes de pluie) in this photo.

With rains that fall so hard, and these old tile roof structure, there is always a danger of small infiltrations and water damage inside the house. We got off scot-free this time, I'm glad to say. OH NO! I was wrong. Walt just noticed that there's a big damp spot in the middle of the kitchen ceiling. Merde! Time to call the contractor...

Trapped inside by rising waters

So how much rain actually fell? I just went out and emptied the rain gauge. In the space of a few hours yesterday afternoon, 38 mm — exactly 1½ inches — fell on us. That's 38 liters of water per square meter of ground, if that means anything to you. The plot of land we live on measures 2,300 square meters, so doing the arithmetic shows that 87,400 liters of water fell just on us. That's 874 hectoliters, or 87.4 cubic meters. In U.S. gallons, that's 23,088.64.

Picturesque but pretty damp

Luckily, we live pretty much at the top of a hill, so the water does run off quickly. There's no real danger of flooding, though you can see how there was some ponding on the gravel driveway in front of the house. That's something we've seen only three or four times in the 12 years we've lived here in Saint-Aignan. The rain we had in just three for four hours yesterday afternoon is the average amount that falls in the space of three weeks.

A river ran through it

And that was just yesterday. On Thursday 9/17 we collected 35 mm in the gauge. That means you can double all the figures I gave above, and that's for a two-day rain episode. We got about 20 mm over the five previous days. And on September 1, we had a rainfall amount of 31 mm. If we had any boat-building skills, we might have an ark under construction in the back yard. Or maybe we should be thinking about a new roof.

27 comments:

  1. We've had a total of 124 mm of rainfall in September. We are really paying for the dry, hot summer we had this year.

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  2. It was rainy and windy in Pars these last few days, but nothing compared to what you say happened in Mareul.

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  3. La porteuse de pain just came by. She said that at her house, which is 7 or 8 kilometers downriver from ours and on the other side of the Cher, she got about 26 mm of rain yesterday, comparee to our 38. She also said all her customers on this side of the river were telling her how impressive the two hard downpours were over here yesterday afternoon.

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  4. We've had 62mm for the month so far... around 49mm of which has fallen this week...
    however, nothing like yours...
    we had a few "coming down in stair rods" episodes...
    but it must have been patchy, the bief hasn't risen much and is hardly cloudy!
    If it had rained as hard as it has here, all the way up the cachement....
    we'd have a bief full of "milky coffee"...
    still... it is nice and sunny now...
    get out there and enjoy!
    T

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    1. Only 62 mm? We've had twice that. Localized downpours for sure.

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    2. Only 62 mm? We've had twice that. Localized downpours for sure.

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    3. Only 62 mm? We've had twice that. Localized downpours for sure.

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  5. I can tell you it was impressive where we were over near Chinon and Azay le Rideau too. We had clients with us and it was the most stressful day I've had in a very long time. The clients were lovely, but the heavy rain meant dangerous roads and miserable site visits. It was impossible not to get wet. I believe we've now had one and a half times our monthly average rain. Any winemaker who's got their grapes in will be very happy. Any who have yet to start, like Vouvray, will be very tense indeed.

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    1. I went down to the garage to find something a few minutes ago, and found ¼" of water standing on most of the floor. We had to back the car out and squeegee and sweep the floor to get the water out. Luckily, not too many cardboard boxes got wet. No real damage, just inconvenience, but it gave us an "opportunity" to do some more cleaning out. The Emmaüs load for next time is getting bigger and bigger.

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    2. Mauvaise surprise. M. Bertie a-t-il eu ses pattes mouillées?

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    3. P.S. Hope the damp spot on the kitchen's ceiling is nothing to worry about with normal rain.

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    4. Bertie a son lit en haut d'un meuble au garage, alors ses pieds étaient bien au dessus du niveau de l'eau. Pourtant, quand nous avons commencé á balayer par terre pour sortir l'eau du garage, le chat s'est réveillé, est descendu, et a pataugé un petit peu en allant se nourir de quelques croquettes avant de partir faire sa tournée du matin autour du hameau.

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  6. Very jealous here in Texas. We had a lovely rainy spring, but nary a drop since the first week
    of June. No green grass or even weeds, and the deer are looking miserable with their ribs
    plainly visible. We're keeping our fingers crossed for an El Nino winter.

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    1. Sorry to hear about your drought conditions. Here's to a strong El Niño for you all.

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  7. Good grief! Rain like that is spooky. LOL CHM, Bertie probably kept his paws very dry. I hope you don't need a new roof.

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    1. I hope we don't either, Evelyn. I think the only problem area is the gable over the kitchen. We might have to have more work done there to stop the leaks. It was really disappointing to see that damp spot this morning. But then we've never had a flood in the garage before either. The rain came down by the bucketful yesterday afternoon -- we've only had rain like that 3 or 4 times in 12 years. Of course with climate change who knows what the future holds.

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  8. oh sorry about the damp spot on ceiling....boooo

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  9. Your weather has been very similar to ours this summer. We've had these torrential rains as well this week. Didn't like it much; especially not when you're in traffic or have to walk 10 mins or so to get to your car after work and get caught right in the middle. :( Hope the damp spot in your kitchen ceiling doesn't mean extensive (and expensive) repairs.

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    1. I hope the kitchen ceiling won't require extensive repairs. We just had it repaired not much more than a year ago, after a previous leak. The saga continues. Today, at least, was a pretty and dry day.

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  10. Be sure to alert your insurance company of the recent water damage. After all, you've invested to prevent such damage and you are insured.

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    1. That's true Ellen. Good idea. Repairing the damage last time was covered by our insurance.

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  11. Rain? What is that? We have forgotten that word in California. Sorry about your roof....j'espere le jardin est bien.

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    1. Le jardin, ça va, mais les tomates commencent à souffrir de toute cette eau.

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  12. Good Morning,
    Writing from a very dull, overcast morning in Beach Grove, just south of Vancouver Canada.

    BC had a long, dry summer. And we are grateful for the rain that is greening everything surprisingly quickly. Our bees are shocked as most of them have not seen rain in their short lives.

    Wondering if there is any move to catch water as done in Australia with large capacity tanks? The only ones I see here are under 200 litre units that look Ike a vertical half barrel that is stored against the house and collects water from a downspout.

    Always enjoy your posts.
    Regards Janine

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    1. We have two 300-liter rain barrels. They have been full to overflowing for weeks now. But it's not nearly enough water to get us through a long dry spell. It often seems we have more than enough water stored when we don't really need it, but none when we really do.

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