December 23rd, 2010



   Yesterday morning I awoke to the tremendous pounding of rain on my window. Normally we don't work on rainy days because there's nothing you can do with bees in the rain, but Dave (my boss) had called me the prior to day telling me not to come in due to rain, but hadn't called me this time, so I dutifully rolled out of bed and got in the car.
   Driving to work, I passed many places where mud had overflowed onto parts of roads, and heard over the radio that main street Laguna Beach, the principal route for Dave to get from there to work, was completely and utterly flooded. You may have seen footage on the evening news of trash cans briskly sailing along at 20 knots. Sure enough, arriving at work, I found no one there. While I called Dave, I strolled over to look through the fence beside the parking lot into the small gully where we keep one beehive. The water level had risen above the level where the beehive had been, no sign of it to be seen. And Dave was pinned at his house between flooded out roads on either side of him. Nevertheless, since I was already there and had missed a number of hours of work while in Tacoma I went in and filed paperwork all day and made sure the buckets catching drips inside didn't overflow.

   Today the rain finally let up enough we could all go into work. The creek beside the beecave had subsided enough that we could see where the hive had been -- no sign of it. I'm assuming they Noah's Arked themselves to somewhere drier.
   Dave and I hopped in the beemobile and galloped off to Bee Yard H where we have about 100 hives dangerously close to a creekbed, while our technicians Ryan and Shane set off in the other direction at a brisk canter to bail out any water that may have accumulated in Dave's boat (apparently two other boats at the marina sank overnight due to clogged scuppers and consequent flooding). Driving through town there was hardly a road that didn't have mud overflows closing lanes in part. We also passed at least one major landside that had transported a large chunk of a hillside into the roadway, as well as collapsed walls and other damage.
   Unfortunately the road leading to the beeyard was closed off by the police. ):

   In our other active bee yard, Bee Yard F, the hives are fortunately on relatively high ground but to get there one has to drive across a creekbed which is without a doubt flooded.

   After returning to headquarters, Dave galloped off again to help his dad move some of his airplanes. Apparently Corona airport is flooding, and he'd already had to move the planes to nearby higher ground at 2am the other night, but needed to move them again.

   Going on the morning coffee run, I found them mopping up water on the floor in there, and later when I was at the bank, I initially assumed half the lobby was closed off due to renovations and then realized, no, it was flood damage.

   Within the last week we've gotten more than the average YEARLY rainfall here (12+ inches, up to 18 in some places in the county).

Bonus Question!: What are the odds that within a given 100 year period of time you'll get a so-called "100 year flood" ?