Saturday, September 13, 2008

Flash Flood II

Not long ago I wrote this post about a flash flood that occurred on part of the ranch. The flash flood overflowed a creek channel and was probably the 100-year flood. A 100-year flood doesn't occur exactly every 100 years; instead, a flood of that large a magnitude has the statistical chance of happening once every 100 years. So after the flash flood we weren't expecting more water. 

But only nine days later, a second flash flood went through the same area. Fortunately it wasn't quite as large, but it was probably a 50-year flood. It cut the channel even deeper and washed out roads, including one the county road department had spent the last week working on.

Yesterday Desert Boy and I went down to the creek to see the work that was being done. All you guys who love heavy equipment, this post is for you!

Because so much sediment washed away from the flood control structures, dirt was needed to pack in around the concrete and redirect the water over the structures. The ranch's huge Volvo excavator dug into a nearby hill and poured dirt into the dump truck.

The dump truck made many trips with 10 cubic yards of dirt each trip. 

Then the driver dumped the dirt at the edge of the creek. 

Next the Hitachi excavator made a work area by smoothing down the dirt into a level platform.

Then the excavator drove out onto the dirt, filled a bucket with water, and wetted down the next dump truck load of dirt so that it would pack better.

Here's the excavator packing in dirt next to the washed out side of the flood control structure.

A few hours later, the wall of dirt had been built back up and the flood control structure was back in business.

Then it was time to head upstream, to the flood control structure that was washed out so much that it had tilted over on its side. The concrete structure weighs about 50 tons, so some big equipment was needed.

The ranch has some big equipment, like the huge loader and track excavator, but even these machines weren't big enough to do the job.

Plan B was to dig out the higher side of the structure to try to get it to settle lower. If it works, then the sides will be filled in and additional concrete will be poured higher to make an extra step in the structure.

Here's the excavator at work again. It sure is a fun machine to watch. Desert Boy was thrilled.

You can see in this picture the cables that are around the structure that were used in trying to move it back into place. Will Plan B work? We don't know yet;  this job will take awhile to complete. Stay tuned...

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Neat! That's like watching something out of Transformers. Good sequence of shots so that the viewer can imagine their own 'video'.

Where's Henry? :)


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