The Pineapple Express isn’t all about sunshine, warm weather, and Mai Tais.
The Pineapple Express is a weather system that brings moist air from the tropics that drenches the Greater Vancouver Area with torrential rainfall.
January 31, 2020 was one of those Pineapple Express days! Wet, wet, wet!
Unfortunately, I was out and about driving around in the heavy rain in the morning and afternoon. I had a celebration of life to attend at noon and then I headed to the farm to feed my horse. I reminded myself to take my rubber boots with me, but of course, I forgot.
Within minutes of leaving the celebration of life, I saw a barricade posted “road flooded”. The sign was pushed mostly over to the side of the road, allowing cars access. Perhaps it had been closed completely earlier. Anyway, I could see the center line through the water, and drove my car closer to the middle, straddling the two sides, thinking that was the driest, and safest, place to pass. I noticed a house on the left side of the road that wasn’t doing well. The front yard was completely underwater, and probably soaked the inside of the house.
I arrived at the farm, which has a long driveway. I could see the the farm owners now had a river running through their back yard, but the driveway was fine, until I nearly reached the barn. There’s a ditch on the upper pasture that runs through a pipe below the driveway and drains into the lower pasture. Except, there was so much water there was now a small river running across the driveway. I couldn’t tell how deep the water was, but it didn’t appear more than a few inches, so I proceeded, hoping there wasn’t a gaping pothole ready to swallow my car.
All good. I reached the barn, opened the door, and switched the light on. I looked down. Yikes! Several inches of water spreading out twenty feet in all directions. It’s not uncommon for the area around the door to get a couple inches of water after a heavy rain, but I’ve never seen it this deep or spread out the way it was on January 31.
Luckily, I keep a spare pair of rubber boots in my horse trailer! I quickly switched out my foot gear and entered the barn.
Splash, splash, splash.
Fortunately, most things in the barn are sitting on pallets.
Here are a couple of shots. I’m embarrassed about those feed bags that have been piling up. I wait for someone to start a fire in farm’s burning pile and then I add my bags. No one has been burning anything, at least not while I’m there, so I have a few months worth of empty feed bags.
Why don’t I start a fire myself? Because I suck at starting fires! That’s a story for another day…
After looking at these photos I had to take action asap on those feed bags!
Just as I was getting ready to leave, that blue barrel set sail and was floating away, so I pushed it to higher ground.
My hay is up on pallets so it should be OK. Just one bale kind of hanging over the ledge a bit has me a bit worried it got wet.
The lower pasture is a lake.
My horse, Cajun, was fine. I brushed him and set out his food and then left about 20 minutes later. I just wanted to get home and out of this wet mess. Get home where it’s safe.
On my drive home, ditches were very full and overflowing in places. A walking path was partly submerged and fields had turned into lakes.
While watching the evening news, a story broke about a busted water main in Cloverdale on Highway 10 that flooded the intersection. The highway was down to one lane of traffic in each direction. The crazy thing was I’d driven through this intersection a few hours earlier. I was in the little plaza there, and now the parking lot is under water!
Check out this video! Watch that lady carefully walking across the street feeling where the road is going to drop off.
I walked over to the intersection today and took pictures. The sidewalk is under water so I had to stop, but get this. A man walks up behind me and asks if the crosswalk is open.
“I’m sure it is,” I responded. “As long as you don’t mind getting wet up to your knees.”
He was wearing sneakers. And turned around!
Here’s what it looks like inside the barn today, after the water has receded a bit.
Did you notice the feed bags are gone? I brought out matches and one of those clicker things to light a barbecue. The clicker thing couldn’t hold a flame long enough to light a feed bag. After using up half the matches I went back to the clicker. Finally I got a bag to catch on fire and was able to burn them!
Here are a couple of photos of the lower pasture aka lake.
For comparison, here’s the lower pasture on January 7, 2020 and that was the most water I’d seen there until we got drenched by this most recent Pineapple Express.
Check out the video below that shows me driving around Surrey, Langley, and at the farm during and after being drenched by the Pineapple Express. If you click through to YouTube, the title cards will be easier to read at full size. The extent of the flooding will be more clear, too.