This is a post I started writing a fortnight ago, the morning after a night of torrential rain and lightning. Then Harvey struck the Texas, and Irma wrecked the Carribean islands and much of Florida. Suddenly, our own troubles became trivial!
Even so, it was exceptional – for us. Uist weather – and winter weather in particular – can be relied on to be windy, even up to Category 2 Hurricane strength. And it can be wet, especially in winter. But rain here is rarely torrential, and lightning – more typically associated with large landmasses – is even rarer. So more than 30cm of rain in just 12 hours? Well, that was a night to remember!
In the morning, the lower end of the garden – close to the house – was under a few inches of standing water, which we’ve never known before. And an electrical surge – caused by the electro-magnetic field around a lightning strike, damaged a number of electronic components – A wireless router, the solar thermal controller, and the BT phone master socket (which exploded!).
Although most phones in our district were out of action, we seemed to be the engineer’s first call, and were back online – thanks to a spare router in time for mid-morning coffee and email-check (others were still without their landline more than a week later); but the replacement solar controller has cost more than £350, and won’t arrive for a fortnight or so.
We’re thinking of those who have lost everything to Harvey, Irma – and the exceptional typhoons in the Far East.
That morning I took some photos of the flooding on the croft. It was the depth of water in various troughs from which I got the rain depth of approximately 30cm.
Alas, the heavy cloud, low light, rain, and the sea of greens greys and browns doesn’t make for self-explanatory photography!
The only photo worth including here is this, showing a cast iron (Victorian?) wash hand basin that on the bank of Abhainn a’ Gearraidh, at the point where, after a long length of sluggish flow through a near level bog, it passes through this narrow gap between two boulders, in Bothy Field. It was jammed into the gap, and is very heavy. It’s so big that had it already been here or in the bog it would have built up a flood behind it, so it must have come from further up the mountain, before the bog.
As to what a Victorian cast iron wash hand basin was doing up the side of a mountain, well that will have to remain a mystery, as I really don’t have any suggestions (other than silly ones) to satisfy your questions!