Cottage Reno

Emergency Exit

I am beginning to think I should start building an ark! I have never known such a wet summer and Monday we will remember for quite some time. We had planned to spend a few days at the cottage, arriving on Friday and we planned to stay until Tuesday. As we don’t have running water, we had to mount a trip out on Monday morning to buy more water and some groceries. It had been raining all night and we had woken to thunder a few times during the night. We were a little concerned because it was turning into a mud bath outside our back door and the water was flowing down our driveway towards the door, but there are two steps up, so we were not worried about the cottage actually flooding.

Thankfully we had boots at the cottage, so donned with boots and rain jackets we headed out to buy supplies. Our steep driveway was a concern, but thankfully the four-wheel drive coped and we made it to the top.

Field Flooded

We were surprised to see how much water was running along the ditch at the side of the road and how flooded the farmer’s field was. There certainly had been a lot of rain overnight! We knew that there was rain in the forecast for today, but we had not expected this much! We had planned to do work inside the cottage today, so once we had our supplies it wouldn’t be an issue we told ourselves. We would be nice and dry in the cottage and work on stuff we planned to do indoors. However, further along the road our best-made plans were thwarted.

Road flooded

The lowest point in the road was totally flooded and we could see fast moving water just running across it at the deepest point.

Flood

My husband got out and walked it. It was 12” deep at the lowest point, but the road was not flooded out…yet! There is another road that goes up to the farmer’s house, so my husband walked to that to see if that was a route open we could use, but that road had been washed away! After some discussion with the farmer, who had never seen this before in all the years he has lived there, we decided it might be prudent to go back, pack up and leave before the road flooded out and we were totally trapped. He told us that another 4” were expected today before it stopped raining, so things could get a lot worse yet. Our dear farmer said he would be on standby, so that if we got stuck he would get his tractor and pull us through and we headed back to the cottage.

We could feel the wheels sliding as we went back down our driveway. That was a little worrying! Maybe we should have parked at the top, but we didn’t feel we had time to be going up and down with our stuff… and everything would have been soaked through if we did that.

We have never packed up so quickly! We had to leave the trailer behind. We didn’t dare risking pulling that behind us – just getting the car through was going to be enough of a challenge. Jobs we normally do, like emptying the toilet and wastewater buckets, got left. We didn’t want to take the extra time to sort that out and hopefully we would be back in a few days to deal with it – once we knew the road was safe. We felt the clock was ticking and if we were going to get out in time we had to do the minimum and go. I washed up and grabbed the food. Leaving that for the mice to come in wasn’t a good idea. Grabbed essentials and we headed out.

Driving to the top of our driveway was a little nerve wracking. We were sliding and the car was struggling, slipping before the steepest part that is normally the issue. But thankfully, the car pushed on and we once again made it to the top.

The water level was up higher, on the low spot of the road, by the time we returned. We took a deep breath and plunged on through the ford. The water was spraying up so high either side of us, but our faithful four-wheel drive made it through and we were safely the other side. What a relief!

I have talked before about how our “to do” list gets juggled as we change the priority order time and time again. You can guess what now seems more of a priority – our driveway! Thankfully the road did hold and didn’t get totally washed out. We phoned the farmer yesterday and he reported that it is now safe for us to return. However, our driveway needs some attention. Whilst our car has been perfectly adequate every time we have needed it, we don’t want to be faced with a situation where it finally can’t cope and we are stuck. This wet weather we are having is degrading the driveway and it is getting worse, so we are going to have to call in some outside help and get the driveway sorted. However, I would not be surprised if we might have to wait, because I am sure there must be a huge demand for this kind of service with all the mention of washed out roads in the news. Still, we need to get the ball rolling and get in line… sooner rather than later!

 

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