Friday, December 30, 2005

Stormy Days

Another storm coming in tonight. We could get another 3 inches of rain over the next few days, and we already made the pbs news hour for rivers at their highest level in 7 years. With river and creek flooding, mudslides and downed trees blocking roads for various periods, the Humboldt County sherrif (also in charge of emergency management) has declared a stateof emergency for the county.

This reminds me of the last week of 1996 and first of 97, a rainy winter and a huge storm for New Years that resulted in flooding, mudslides and so on, washing out roads, virtually wiping out a community south of here, and when 101 was blocked on both sides and the airport was shut down, cutting the whole area off from the world.

That was our first winter here. The next was pretty wet as well, but none have been that bad until now.

The hummingbirds are hanging in, though. It's been a challenge keeping up with their intake of nectar from the feeder, although the wind blowing it around caused substantial losses, too.

I've been meaning to make note of a news story that's now a bit old, that the sci-fi channel is working on a new series called "Eureka," ostensibly set in our own Eureka city (although not shot anywhere near here, of course. Only movies set somewhere else are shot here. Like a forest planet in a galaxy far far away.)

Anyway, this series is about an isolated town that happens to harbor scientific geniuses doing super secret research for the government. Of course, this not only doesn't sound like Eureka, it doesn't sound like our government. What would they be getting these scientists to do? Prove global warming is a myth? Show by example that evolution is a phony theory? Figure out how to make sense of all the phone calls they're spying on?

This isn't the first time that our relatively isolated location has inspired fantasies of secret goings on. Thomas Pynchon (who may have lived in the area for awhile) used all kinds of Humboldt locations in his novel, Vineland. College of the Redwoods became College of the Surf, etc. and the forests hid entire secret military installations.

Of course, people hereabouts do say that in southern Humboldt there are entire towns that aren't on any maps. So who knows?

And of course, a bit north, Bigfoot. A famous personage here. There are even Bigfoot gasoline stations.

But back to the storms: so far we've had only a couple of very brief power outages, but they are more likely in this weather. We're high enough that flooding isn't likely to affect us, though it is remotely possible. There are lots of usually small creeks about. And it doesn't take much to block 101, especially south.

I recall that in 96 I was pleased to learn that the Arcata area is self-sufficient in diary products. I don't know if it's still true.