The Great Flood of 2009

It was a dark and stormy... day... which is strange since we are in Western Oregon. Two weeks ago we had a couple days of dark, muggy, thundery weather. Definitely not standard fare for the Pacific North West. Then on Thursday all the built up weather came to a head, the sky opened up, and buckets of water came pouring down.

At first it was fun and several of the elves were enjoying the spectacle on our back porch. It's not often that we get to see with rain come down so hard the pressure on the down spouts is causing water to shoot three feet in the air.

But then I decided to check the windows at the front of the shop.... "What's that I hear? Water? Must be on the roof outside our window... NO!!! It's water pouring INSIDE OUR SHOP!!!" Needless to say I was stunned. There were major four leaks... but 'leaks' is not a sufficient word for what was happening. Each of these 'leaks' was basically the equivalent of a fire hose turned on full blast and aimed directly at the floor. Not something I was expecting when I came to work that day.

Once I snapped out of it and sounded the alarm, the other elves jumped into action. Keita jumped up on a table and began to throw hides of leather out of harms way. Sherilyn and her son, Sage, started to grab every container available and put them under the leaks. Scott quickly put the red wagon into service and began to wheel full containers out to be dumped. Tim and I jumped on the phone to call in more help. It was quite exciting.

After about 15 minutes of major turmoil the rain began to ease and the clean up began. By that night, all our shoe-making materials were safe or drying out and the only concern was the carpet. Luckily we were able to get big vacuums and fans going right away so no permanent damage was done. What a crazy few hours!

According to the paper the next day we had one inch of rain in an hour, but most of that came in about 20 minutes or so. It was amazing.

In all the chaos, I did not snap any photos of geysers, but here is one of the stairs coming up to our shop with all the buckets trying to catch water that was leaking down.

The reason for the leaks is now known and will be fixed before we head into the rainy season... we hope!

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