March 6, 2018 · Water

Rain

In mid-February, a sudden snow melt (after an unusually snowy winter here) combined with a week of torrential rain led to a lot of high waters and flooding in the area. Locales north and west of here like Norton and Big Stone Gap, small towns clinging to hillsides in-between mountains, were partially evacuated. Dozens of bridges and roads were out and are now being repaired.

Closer to home, Mumpower Creek (which runs in front of my house) was feisty, but not catastrophic, thankfully. The creek is in a deep ravine, and it would take a Biblical flood for it to come anywhere close to the house, but there were a couple times I thought it might crest the bridge.

What thrilled me to death was seeing the old creek in the back yard come to life. Once upon a time, a spring fed a year-round creek in my little hollow, but it hasn't run since the '70s after nearby blasting for road construction.

I wish it did that year-round! It passes through a  couple of old check dams, into this natural stone channel, then into a series of corrugated steel/concrete pipes running underground next to the house, and finally empties into Mumpower Creek (though I have yet to find the exact exit point).

It never rained this hard last year, and since I never saw water flow through this system, I really began to question the utility of all the check dams and pipes and whatnot. But now I'm a believer! The system performed perfectly. My home and crawl space were dry as a bone. I also got to see how well the old springbox holds water. I'd say it does a great job!

I've got some ambitious plans to try to revive the old spring and have year-round flowing water, but those will have to wait for later in the summer.