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Monday, April 25, 2011

Sometimes, we just can't stop ourselves.

Our lake empties here, a small outflow by  Coast Guard Hill, narrow at this point, squeezed by two big lava rocks. To flow out smoothly, this creek has to get really swollen to make the final push to the Ocean.

If this exit is plugged, our lake level rises dramatically, to dangerous levels, causing irreparable harm to nearby houses.  The year after we moved in our present house, the lake reached historical heights and the town resorted to digging out outflows to save the lake. After that, the lake and its vicinities received special funding and the outflow was engineered and built to be self regulating.

This lake used to be a lagoon, draining somewhere else.
Knowing all this did not deter us from purchasing a house here.

How many of us live in such precarious surroundings?
Do you live in a tornado zone?
A flood zone?
A hurricane area?
A volcano?
A forest fire zone?
An earthquake area?

Nature is unstoppable. It's only a matter of time, or special circumstances.

28 comments:

L. D. Burgus said...

We live in a tornado zone. One went through our town missing our house by a half a block. It was frightening and as you say nature seems to be totally in control.

Joani said...

OMG. When I looked for my home, that was the first thing I looked at.....which way does the water flow and where are the washes. As a child I lived on a ranch in western Arizona and when the river would come up, we were totally isolated. There was only one way out and that was to ride horseback to the grandparents place....a 4 hour ride. Many times I remember they moved the car closer to the top of the hill in case the river crested over the top of the pasture and on in towards the house. Luckily, it never did while we were there. But, one time the river was up and us kids (2) were sick and we had to get to the doctor. The car at that time was across the river, on the town side. Now, in order to get across the river my dad took one of the horses and crossed us each at a time. He took the horse back and I don't know how he got across. Town was about 50 miles away. On that day, I lost a red purse with coins and gum in it. Later on, my dad went down the river and spotted that red purse and brought it home. A wonderful surprise. Water, I'm not fond of and don't want to be anywhere near it.

Ann Best said...

In northern Utah, we were in an earthquake zone. No big one yet (the Wasatch Fault).

In Harrisonburg, Virginia, I was told when we moved here that we're on high ground should there be flooding. So far, no major flooding. (I am truly frightened of drowning!)

But, nature is quirky. A tornado can touch down, it seems lately, in the most unlikely of places. etc. etc.

Ah well, this is the earth that we live on. I get as prepared as I can for emergencies and then just try to enjoy the day. I've been the worry wart, but that just makes the day miserable.

Lynilu said...

I suspect we all live in some precarious zone. For me it is forest/wild fires. I'm also close to a fault that would be dangerous for earthquakes. However, I don't worry about it. What will be, will be. I'm more comfortable here than I was when I lived in the Midwest with it's tornadoes.

ellen abbott said...

we get hurricanes here. but what part of the world is not subject to nature's power?

Brian Miller said...

i live in the mountains...not near anything as dangerous...cool that they put in those self regulating flows though...

yaya said...

I grew up in Chicago and now live in Ohio...both can have bad storms that brew a tornado..now we've been getting so much rain that our yard is turning into a swamp! You have to really respect ol' Mother Nature and be thankful for each good day!

Eva Gallant said...

Here in Maine, there can be N'oresters and ice storms, but they're not usually life-threatening unless you are foolish enough to be out driving in them!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

With the weather and natural disaster of today, who knows what type of area we live in. I'm with you, go for it for if we worry all the time, won't enjoy any of it.

RNSANE said...

Well, I am definitely in an earthquake area! I live almost on top of the San Andreas fault. We constantly feel small tremors. I just hope the "big one" doesn't happen in my lifetime. I'm 66 now - figure I won't last another twenty years ( not sure I want to with all the aches and pains I'm already having ).

Marguerite said...

I live in Hurricane Central, near the Louisiana Coast, but far enough away to avoid flooding problems. But, you're right, anything is possible, anywhere.

quilterliz said...

G'day Rosaria.We live in a fire zone here.We have had a couple of close calls over the last few years, but the one time when things looked a bit hairy, the wind changed direction and took the bushfire away from us.We realise by living where we do that these things happen. Take care...

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Our L.A. home of 29 years, which we sold just a year ago, saw us through several earthquakes, including the too close for comfort Northridge quake in 1994, which tore apart several homes and condos in our immediate area, a devastating fire (Santa Clarita is one of the big wildfire zones in Southern California) which, fortunately, just took our roof -- not to mention man-made disasters like a home invasion robbery in 2003. People would ask why we didn't move. But it was home to us and we loved it. We finally moved for a less costly retirement lifestyle. It feels strange not to be in an earthquake zone. We still do a double-take when we notice that our water heater isn't strapped to the wall as was required in Los Angeles. So now we worry (a little) about monsoon floods, high winds and scary dust storms. So far, so good.

the walking man said...

I live in Detroit. All of our disasters are man made and enhanced with each generation.

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

We live in an earthquake zone but it is not at the highest grade risk.

Journeyin' Lady... said...

We are Californians so have lived through many earthquakes. In fact, we usually don't get too excited about them.
I'm thinking about our current travels, last Fall we experienced multiple, called cluster, earthquakes in the Owens Valley area of California, spent a month in Galveston (hurricanes), Arkansas (tornados), New Orleans (hurricanes and floods!), in Natchez, Mississippi we watched as the Mississippi river rose day by day until it exceeded flood levels (thank goodness for good levees), traveled further east and woke up one morning last week to learn that a tornado had hit a couple of miles from where we were staying in Staunton, Virginia! And I grew up in North Dakota where deadly blizzards were pretty regular.
Wow, we live in an exciting country don't we?

Maggie May said...

Hopefully we will experience non of those things. However, freak weather can always strike any where and we did experience the tail end of a hurricane once, that brought trees down and lots of tiles from the roofs.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

The Broad said...

When I was in Connecticut last week I remember looking at the weather maps and all the violent weather patterns that were developing -- tornados begetting tornados, snowstorms, fires in Texas, on and on day after day. I grew up with blizzards,ice storms nor'easters and the occasional hurricane -- not to mention sub-zero weather -- and we are talking Farenheit here!! -- and blistering humid heat waves. Now in England we have gales and snowstorms that are impossible because we are so unprepared for such extreme weather. Southport even experiences the occasional rumble of the earth's crust which has caused at most some subsidence and possible a broken dish or figurine.

dianefaith said...

I live in a tornado zone. Some years, weather is more stable, but this year we've had constant warnings during the last month. I never worried much about storms until my little grandson arrived and settled in nearby. Now, we move to safer quarters whenever the weather is unsettled.

Grandmother said...

In our region of Italy (Abruzzo), earthquakes occur. There was a big one just before we moved here but was up in the mountains in the capital of this Province, L'Aquila, over an hour away. Not many places have no dangers.

A Seasonal Cook in Turkey said...

I think it is very interesting that knowing all that, you still purchased your property. What is it about humankind that makes us think oh well it won't happen to us? It's all about risk and balance. We never think it will happen to us.
This year we have seen so many unprecedented happenings caused by nature, that it can't help but make you scared.

What About the Girl? said...

Let's see...I lived through many earthquakes, minor and major volcanic eruptions, floods, and hurricanes in Asia.
When I witnessed a major volcanic eruption years ago, I remember peering out the window at night, and thought the glowing red lava looked so pretty...
(i was a child then and didn't know how dangerous they were/are!)

Cloudia said...

our proud islands can see all of them! But RARELY- except the volcano that mostly stays in it's bounds and amazes us, though many roads, houses and lands have been swallowed by the molten stone.




Warm Aloha from Honolulu


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Trish said...

Hurricane zone here. And the season starts June 1.

#1Nana said...

According to the county, we're in a flood zone. We're on a small cliff overlooking the river. The entire town to the east would have to flood to a depth of 25 feet for the water to rise above the cliff, but we're still classified as a flood zone.

Granny Annie said...

We live in two very dangerous areas. One is smack dab in the middle of tornado alley. The other is smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt. LOL

rosaria said...

My goodness, we all live precariously close to disaster, except one, maybe two of us!
I'm learning so much from all of you.
Take care.
Watch out for the Big One.

Sverige said...

Oh my goodness! You’re so right! I really don’t think anyone’s put it that way before! You must be an expert on this because you just made it so easy to understand, made me want to learn more about it! Do you, like, study this subject because you seem to be so in tune with the issue? Keep it up, man. You’ve got a great mind for it!