Dec 22, 2010

356- Flash-Back to the Storm of Aught-Three!

Would you like to hear a fun story?

All of the flooding in California has me reminiscing. We lived for 23 years in the Mojave Desert 60 miles north of Los Angeles in an area called the Antelope Valley: Palmdale, Lancaster, Quartz Hill, Littlerock, and environs. The AV boasted several things:
  • The Antelope Valley Wind Festival- January 1st to December 31 (no joke!  it always blew)
  • 350 Sunny days a year
  • Insignificant rainfall
  • Poor flood control
  • Flash floods
  • Roads buried under torrents of rivers that were dry 99% of the time
  • Fastest growing city in the US for most of the 80's and early 90's
  • You get the picture...

So being inventive, and somewhat zany, Desert Rats one of the things the kids and I used to like to do when we had a big rain was pile into the van and drive around town to see where Palmdale was flooded this time. One of our favorite spots was just north of us about a mile. We traversed this road daily because that is where the kids went to Wildflower School and I also worked. Just north of the school there was a S-E-R-I-O-S low spot just before 35th East intersected Palmdale Blvd. even minor rainstorms would flood that area.

I more that once greeted a very wet and soggy pedestrian (at WF front desk) who'd literally flooded their car and swam/waded out and back to the school to call for help. (I even knew a couple, much to their embarrassment.)

Because Palmdale grew too fast it took a while for them to make all of the necessary adjustments for flood control. One thing they did was make a huge culvert that took the water under Palmdale Blvd to flood 35th on the other side... it turned the residential street into a river for a quarter of a mile until it ran into the desert again, but saved Palmdale Blvd.

In one of our El Niño years (Spanish for The Niño) , February 2003 to be exact this *idiot smart motorist*, who, of course, knows better than the street crews that the road isn't actually closed...

"Look I can see that berm of dirt that runs east of the road... I'll just drive on it!"

356- '03 exit

The kids and burst into hysterical laughter at this one. That *smart-motorist* drove right into the 6 foot deep culvert!  But I did admire his ingenuity of climbing out through the sunroof!

356- '03 oops


Laura H said...

moving from one desert to another, we still get to see pictures like this when it rains really hard.

Mom and Dad said...

About 5 years ago, just after Jim & Torla moved to Elsinore and moved Grandma Luzell back with them, there was a lot of flooding in Sevier Valley along the river. Wayne & Jim went to Venice with a bunch of high priest volunteers to help them fill sandbags to protect homes from the onslaught of the river.
I also used to take Luzell to get her hair done every week, and Wayne & I would take her on a tour of "the flooding". As foggy as she got about other memories, she always remembered the flooding and would recall it when we were in that area.
Interesting, what brings memories of Luzell back . . .