Cold, Wet Storm Confirms Value of my Drainage System

It’s nice to see the value of your work, but that can be tempered a bit when it involves going out in 33 degree rain on a cold morning.

The Nor’Easter I mentioned in last week’s post did hit Vermont. It brought a few surprises – instead of a bunch of warm rain, much of the precipitation fell as sleet, and at the storm’s end we were left with a few inches of snow. However, during the day last Wednesday we did get some rain, and that led to some runoff. I’d just dismantled my gutter system, since it seemed that it might get damaged by ice, and it didn’t seem like one storm would be enough to get water in the basement. Sure enough, though, when I went down to the basement that morning to start the fire, there was a little stream of water running across the concrete floor. Oops! Apparently the gutters had been making more of a difference than I thought. Out I went into the rain and sleet, and I actually got the gutters in a better setup than the previous one, albeit a bit messy looking. The runoff into the basement promptly stopped. The water started flowing into the rain garden instead, but the soil was at least partially frozen, so it didn’t soak right in. Instead it made two interesting looking ‘vernal pools’.
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The water bar on our driveway was also working well. I’m not sure if it will survive being repeatedly hit by a plow this winter, though, so it will probably need work in the spring.
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Then, over the long thanksgiving weekend, it got cold. Really cold.
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The snow stuck around, so we were able to have a little sledding party on Saturday. It definitely felt and looked like midwinter. Most areas still have a couple of inches of wet snow.
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We’ve also had some light additional snow and freezing fog that coated every branch and pine needle.
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For the rest of the week, it will be a bit warmer, with some possible rain and wet snow, so the gutters will probably be useful again. After that… well, there could be a snowstorm on Monday, but that too could bring rain or a wintry mix, or miss altogether. It’s too far away to say much for sure. Very cold air is plunging into the western part of the US, and California may get some unusually cold weather in the next few days. Eventally that will probably find its way east to us too.

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