Author Topic: Rainpocalypse, or why Clueboard has been quiet all weekend  (Read 6356 times)

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Offline skullydazed

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Rainpocalypse, or why Clueboard has been quiet all weekend
« on: Mon, 09 January 2017, 23:55:34 »
How has your stormy weekend been? I know that across much of the country you've been dealing with snow, which is its own special fun. Here in Northern California we've been getting inundated with our entire yearly average rainfall in a single week. The creek behind my house has turned into a river, the roads are flooding, and a large tree fell across the road, taking with it my power, internet, and ability to reach civilization.



The creek behind my house. Normally you can pull your pant legs up to your knees and skip across in two steps without getting your clothes wet.

(This turned out pretty long. Hop to the end for a TL;DR.)

The full story starts on Friday morning. I ran out to drive my project car (a Stage 3 2004 Jetta TDI) to discover 2 inches of water inside. It seems that my plenum had developed a hole (probably from some wire I ran and didn't seal sufficiently) and that water had been pouring into it all last week. I spent the morning pulling everything out and trying to get as much water gone as I could, then I spent part of the afternoon looking for a car cover to protect from the coming rain. (I ended up covering it with a tarp.)

I got a little bit of actual work done that day, but most of my day was spent dealing with the car and getting ready for a wedding I was attending. I left for Yuba City (the location of the wedding) that evening around 5. Saturday my entire day was taken up by the wedding, and then driving home. I managed to leave Yuba City by 3, and made it home by 7. I spent the rest of the evening recovering from the trip with my family, and listening to the rain get stronger and stronger.

Sunday morning, 6am. For most people this is "too dang early, especially on a Sunday." But this is my time. I get to do whatever I want, and there's no one around to tell me otherwise. I don't remember what I was doing, probably writing some inane comment on reddit, when I heard it. A long extended crackle, maybe 10 seconds long. The lights go out. A few moments pass, and I hear the sound again. "Well, that can't be good." We call PG&E and look out the windows but can't see anything. Deciding there's nothing to be gained by going out in the cold and wet before I'm even dressed, my wife and I go back to bed for a few hours.

Later that day we get up and eventually piece together what happened. A rather large tree has fallen across both the road and railroad tracks running parallel to the road. Along the way it fell across the wires bringing us phone, cable, and power. The street is blocked off, but there is no one working. It must be bad. As we watch many cars come along, see the closed off road, and turn around to go the long way around. We wonder why they didn't put warnings farther back so people could turn around at more convenient places.



Men working to clear the railroad tracks. That backhoe has train wheels instead of tracks!

Cell reception at our house is hit or miss at good times, and this was not a good time. Most of the time a 1x with 1 bar stares at me, and the data does not flow. I had planned to pack and ship orders, but without power or internet this proves to be too difficult. We decide to trek out in search of internet, but with the main road blocked by a tree our only choice is to drive 30 minutes out of our way. Along the way we pass no less than 3 signs, that you have to drive into the other lane to go around, warning of the closed road ahead.  :))

The roads are a mess, with some people driving as if it were a bright sunny day and other people driving 10 mph even though they can see just fine. We manage to procure food and ice, but good internet signal eludes us so we just go home. Forced to spend an evening without modern conveniences, we use up our remaining battery power reading good old fashioned ebooks. I spent most of my time going through old cocktail books and putting together a list of recipes to try. (If you're interested, I've posted it here.)

The next morning we started to see progress. Men with chainsaws and heavy machines were cutting and dragging the tree away. PG&E trucks were wandering up and down our street. By lunchtime they had a flagger permanently posted at the closure, although they were not letting anyone through. There was work being done!



Men clearing the tree from the middle of the road. The tracks in the previous picture are roughly 25 feet to the left of the road, to provide some perspective on how large this tree is.

But I still have orders to ship and customers to answer. So my awesome wife and I got to work. We made the trek over to starbucks (30 minutes) and saved all the orders to a PDF. We went home (30 minutes) and started packing every order we can. 20 orders later we had gotten every order we could packed, taped up, and weighed. We packed up the label printer and went back to starbucks (30 more minutes.) This time we printed all the shipping labels while people at nearby tables shot us dirty looks. After finishing our mochas and taking advantage of a break in the rain, we got all the boxes labeled and dropped them off at the post office.

As we made our way home my wife, out of habit, pulled out her phone. "I just turned the thermostat up, it should be toasty when we get home." It took a few seconds to realize the implication of what she said. "Wait, so power is on back home?" "Oh, uh, I guess it is!"

Sure enough, we took our normal route home, and arrived to find the house lit up and toasty warm. We made dinner  from things in the freezer that felt a bit soft, gave the kid a bath, and got her put to bed. And now I'm sitting here sipping a gimlet and telling you about my day and a half living like my ancestors.

TL;DR- Biblical rains, lost power, herculean efforts to ship orders without internet access. AKA just another day here at Clueboard.

To everyone with a delayed order you have my sincere apologies. My wife and I are working as fast as we can to catch up. If you are waiting for a response to your support ticket I will get back to you. Mother nature can try her hardest to thwart me, but I will persevere.

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Rainpocalypse, or why Clueboard has been quiet all weekend
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 10 January 2017, 06:40:38 »
See this is how you give updates.

 10/10

Would read again.


Offline joey

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Re: Rainpocalypse, or why Clueboard has been quiet all weekend
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 10 January 2017, 07:37:13 »
See this is how you give updates.

 10/10

Would read again.
I mean, I hope something like this doesn't happen again.. but I enjoyed reading about it so I kinda hope it does :blank: