Friday, June 17, 2016

Oh Floodwaters, Keep On Drainin'

Flooded St. Francis
On May 16th an historic rain event fell upon us. Approximately 12 inches in 5 hours landed on our home and nursery at Sage Hollow. The nursery, gardens, and parking area were under two feet of water. Our yard on three sides of our house was under a foot. Ephemeral ponds (that are usually dry) on the four acres we treat as nature preserve instantly filled up. We were amazed by the sudden changes in the appearance of Sage Hollow, but we were comfortable enough and enjoying the experience. After two-and-a-half weeks of almost daily rainfall, nearby ponds crested and began spilling onto our property. Within three hours our floodwaters rose a foot, maybe more, and threatened to enter our house. Evacuation was imminent. Unavoidable. Sage and I packed quickly our personal items, business files, and prepared our three pets to leave. David -- with the help of Robert and Rudy -- moved heavy items to higher ground. When we left our home, we had no idea what we would find when we returned.

That was two weeks ago. The first few days we stayed with friends then found a vacation rental that offers weekly rates and would allow all of our pets. Everybody has been safe and dry and comfortable, though we miss our tiny off-grid home and nursery. We miss walking the dogs along our trails and tending our gardens.

Finally, we have had consecutive days without rain and our flooded ponds are beginning to drain. The water has receded below the house; the floor and porch are beginning to dry. But we have a huge clean-up project ahead of us. That's OK: our home and personal belongings will recover just fine. The gardens are a total loss, the nursery stock is 95% lost, and both vehicles are failing. Sage and I have been down for two days with some kind of summer cold. Still, I consider us very fortunate. I had inadvertently stored all of our garden seeds in the bin that holds our business files. When the waters seep away, we will be ready to start preparing for our fall and winter garden. The plants that were protected and have survived are part of current projects and look incredible. We will recover some of our investment. One vehicle was repaired yesterday (but has unfortunately failed again today) and the other should be ready sometime next week. We have been showered with generous offers from friends and acquaintances. Even the owners of our home-away-from-home have been very helpful. Despite all of this upheaval, we have continued to work daily and complete projects timely.

David texted me these photos of our porch this morning. Waterline on the door is noticeable. Messy but it appears all of our belongings are salvageable. And so the clean-up process begins...

Due to the situation at Sage Hollow, we have decided to suspend all plant sales until further notice. We need sufficient time to clean up and make our home livable again, to plant our gardens again, and to restock the nursery. True to my optimistic nature, however, I expect the future of NativeDave and specifically our nursery to be exponentially better. We hope you will continue to grow with us.