December 3, 2014
Almost two years to the day, the sky opened up and created another flooding event in our neighborhood. Because it
was dark, the flood waters were harder to see and capture in pictures. But it was the same as the 2012 event, if not worse. The flooding all centers around Linda Creek flow exceeding the intake on Pendleton Drive, flowing down Pendleton Dr. and dumping back into Linda Creek. Unfortunately, our houses are in the way.
It was also in the morning of 2005, on New Years Eve, when we had a similar flooding event. Then, as now, it was an almost tropical storm that dumped heavy rains throughout our neighborhood. Back in 2005 I was alerted by a neighbor that the creek had topped the storm drain entrance and was roaring down the street. Within minutes, the storm water was coursing through my side yard into the ephemeral creek that was the nascent head waters to Linda Creek on the other side of the road.
On the morning of December 2, 2012, we watched the morning weather report to track the incoming deluge of rain. Sure enough, the warm rain filled the storm water channel, jumped the intake and turned Pendleton Drive, Granite Bay, into a little river. Our efforts at re-landscaping the side yard seemed to pay off as the water was more evenly diverted to the back yard or stayed in the street.
It could be that the rain was not as intense because it didn’t seem to rise as high in the back yard as 2005. Either way, my neighbor got hit just as bad with water under the house and their creek bridge swept away.
After the 2005 event some of the neighbors were successful in getting Placer County to come out and look at the storm water drainage situation. All that the county crews did was clean the creek. We knew that was not the problem. This year’s flood event proved that the beginning of Linda Creek is not the cause of the flooding. The problem is three different subdivisions, built at different times, all trying to force their storm water into one collection point at the head of Linda Creek.
Homes built along Mooney Drive to the east of us were designed in the 1950’s and only had ditches for storm water. Our subdivision was laid out in the 1960’s and included a storm water system. To accommodate the drainage to the east, a large drain inlet accepts the ditch water into the storm water system. This system travels under the street and dumps into Linda Creek on Bronson Rd., between Pendleton Drive and Fuller Drive.
This storm water arrangement seemed to work fine until they built the third
subdivision south of our position at a higher elevation in the 1980’s. Now there was even more water being funneled into the system and it had a higher head pressure. The nearly level storm water system along Pendleton gets overwhelmed with virtually pressurized storm water from along Hill Rd. This backs up the system forcing the incoming water from Mooney Rd., to rise up, jumping the curb, and flow down Pendleton.
My house, and a couple of others which had the original creek bed in the back yards, see this surging drain water seek the lowest elevation through side yards to the original Linda Creek. This wouldn’t be so bad but Bronson Rd. makes an effective dam from the water flowing to the designated Linda Creek channel. After the the 1986 flood, Placer County put an additional 12″ corrugated culvert under Bronson to facilitate excess storm water flows. For the most, the newer pipe helps drain water from my side of Bronson to the other. But it didn’t solve the problem of the over capacity storm water system that causes the flooding in the first place.
It wasn’t until the 2005 flood that out neighbors told us how the house we purchased in 2003 had flooded at least twice in the past. This information accounts for some of the irregularities we have seen with what we thought we little remodel projects in the bathrooms and kitchen. When in reality, and we were never informed by the seller, flooding events of the past caused special work to be done to the house.
There isn’t much I can do. I purchased flood insurance in 2006 after the last
event. I was half hoping to use the insurance for some new floors in the house this past week. It looks as if we did a good enough job creating drainage swales on our property to avoid any future flooding from incidental flash floods. However, I only need the rain event to be about 10% – 20% greater for the storm water to rise into the house. With climate change, we may see that in the next couple of years, so I guess I’ll keep the flood insurance in force.