Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center

Flood season ramps up with biggest inundation yet

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This past Thursday, the Snoqualmie Valley was treated to its fourth flood in six weeks. The flood came in even higher than predicted, cresting Thursday evening between 60 and 61 feet above the bottom of the riverbed.

This was the second-highest flood we have recorded at Oxbow since we began farming in 1999 and the fourth already this season. For a bit of perspective, we only dealt with one flood the entirety of last season.

We have a love/hate relationship with floods that we detailed early this year after last season’s January flood.¬†Floods are occasional inconveniences but also a source of nutrients for our soil and our food.

The weather in November and December has been incredible and 2015 continues to be an anomaly. We hope the rain will settle down as the winter sets in.

Check out the pictures below to see what last week’s flood meant for our farm and our crew.

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Our namesake Oxbow Lake full nearly to overflowing our driveway on Thursday afternoon, hours before the river crested.

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Processing Crew Lead Anna Ball preps the CSA pack-out room on Tuesday. As our barn is located within the flood plain, our crew must lift everything up onto tables above the projected water level.

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The floodwaters flowing through the Childrens Garden lifted up and transported several planter boxes. One floated more than fifty yards.

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Our barn, slightly after the crest. If you look carefully, you can the water has risen nearly to the doorknobs on the sliding door. This is more than three feet of standing water.

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Our crew shovels the driveway back into place Friday morning. Water flows quickly across the driveway between our two wetlands during floods.

 

This story appeared in our newsletter, The Dirt, December 14. Sign up to receive it.

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