Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Calm after...

Storm watch seems to have settled down a bit here, thankfully. The folks in Strachan Point are back in their homes after a helicopter survey of the creek above them proved things to be less dangerous than first thought.

This is an aerial shot of the debris torrent dam above my own little village. We have two creeks -- Harvey & Alberta -- in the village proper (and another -- Magnesia Creek -- in the Brunswick Beach section of the village).

For those who asked -- a brief word or two on the nature of a debris torrent. The combination of development, poor logging practices and severe weather (in Howe Sound we had 100 mm of snow followed by 150 mm of rain on two consecutive days this week) means that debris in the form of logs, mud, snow and branches can build up high in the creeks on the mountainsides where the water flows most swiftly. If the pressure builds up sufficiently, this material can rocket down the side of the mountain like a combination tidal wave and avalanche, wiping out whatever is in its path.

In 1983, after a debris torrent tore down the creek bed, destroying five houses and and killing two boys, dams like the one pictured here were built above the village on the mountainside to prevent this from happening again. Charles Creek, above Strachan Point, has one of these too, but a debris torrent in 2006 left the emergency authorities just a little nervous about the potential for disaster this time. Thankfully, all appears to be well for the moment.

Just as happily, the fundraising event for Rockridge School at 32 Books last night seemed a big success, judging from the number of bodies crammed into the bookstore. Congratulations to Deb McVittie and her staff for putting on a great event. Special props to the student volunteers who worked so hard to make sure everything went smoothly.


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