Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Is this any way to start a New Year?

Two things going on around here. First off, I've been really, really sick. Couldn't breathe and coughed so hard I felt like I losing internal organs. The worse part was not being able to sleep. When I laid down, I couldn't breathe and that lead to more coughing and just being generally miserable. I finally broke down and went see the doctor, who promptly bundled me off to a respiratory treatment and told me that if I wasn't breathing better afterwards I could look forward to spending New Years at the Fontana Kaiser.

Well, I could breathe better afterwards and he loaded me up with drugs, inhalors, and stiff warnings about avoiding second hand smoke. There's some irony in that - I finally quit smoking, only to get pneumonia! The good Lord has a sense of humor!


The second thing is we are right in the middle of about three strong Pacific storms that are moving very slowly in, bringing lots of rain and all the attendent problems. Californians simply cannot concieve of any weather condition that would prevent them from driving down to Barnes & Noble for a Starbucks latte. So the daily news consists of ridiculous pictures of people trying to ford water up to three feet deep in a Yugo. I kid you not.

Wading away from the Lexus.

The more serious situation is flooding in the foothills and mountains, particularly in those communities that were so hard-hit by fire during last years fire season. Water, combined with mud, becomes a particularly difficult problem. Just six inches of moving mud will sweep a car off the road or drag a person under. If you haven't seen it, it's hard to visualize. I grew up in this area and I've dug people out of Waterman Canyon mudslides. It's really something to see.

Since I've been incapicitated, I've spent most of my time listening to the scanner and 6-FLOOD-1 is really busy. Glen Helen is said to be flooding, the entrance to Lytle Creek is closed, and they're keeping an eye on Devore, which flooded during last month's rain. Surprisingly, I haven't heard a whole lot of accidents. I chalk that up to the holiday seasons, with people either on vacation or deciding to take one. Or catching pneumonia!

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