We had buckets of rain yesterday. And by “buckets of rain” I mean “a downpour of Biblical proportions”. I’ve got a river of red Georgia clay in my backyard and some wet drywall in my bedroom from a leaking window we “fixed” a few months ago. Our damage is nothing serious, certainly nothing like some of our neighbors and relatives experienced. I’ve never been so happy that we don’t have a basement. It seems like everyone we know who has one is going to spend today scooping water out of it.
So Georgia’s cleaning up from the mess of mudslides, sinkholes, and floodwaters. (Oh my.) And we’re not out of the woods yet. We’ve got more rain on the way, though the weather prognosticators are predicting that it won’t be anything like what we’ve already experienced. Here’s hoping. The little bit of rain we’re expecting won’t create the drastic problems we experienced yesterday, but it is going to make the cleanup all the more difficult. I’ve got a fan on my damp drywall, but it’s not going to dry until it dries up outside.
We’ll probably see more sinkholes, particularly inside I-285. If you’re in the flood area, keep a look out for anything different around storm water structures (inlets, manholes, etc), particularly if they were submerged at some point.
Our storm water systems were stressed yesterday and I imagine that the pipes were under pressure. They’re simply not designed for that. Putting those pipes under pressure creates a prime condition to create sinkholes around structural connections. Inside I-285, most sinkholes are created by failed storm water system structural connections. Most of those failures are from age, so when pressure is added to an aged system that wasn’t designed for pressure, it’s only to be expected that we’ll see more sinkholes than usual in the next year.
So keep a look out around storm water system structures. Sinkholes generally aren’t created overnight. They can take months, even years to fully develop.
[The post title is from Lena Horne's incomparable Stormy Weather.]