Finally the mountain roads are opening (the dirt ones!)
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
It takes time to re-build a road, even the dirt ones. The high mountain roads were heavily eroded by the flood, the bottom-of-the-canyon paved roads were generally completely washed away. In other words, access has been limited to non-existent. But one mountain road did get repaired enough to allow residential traffic -- so I was FINALLY able to get through to our other mountain home (unsold -- on the market) and check for water damage --AFTER 3 WEEKS! The back road I found was rutted, pot-holed, wash-boarded... but useable! And it took 2 hours to make a 45 minute trip....
You know I was dreading what I might find. BUT we are doubly lucky; our other home is also undamaged by water infiltration. Even the outdoors areas and our driveway was essentially undamaged. Our neighbors were not so fortunate. It was hideous to see the damage to homes and roads.
Kudos to the employees of the power companies and road crews who are working so hard to restore necessities and essential conveniences. Within one day, I got the electricity and gas turned back on (both of which are essential for maintaining the integrity of the house even though no one lives there).
Despite there being no damage to the house, there will be no selling the house anytime in the foreseeable future. A person would be a great fool to buy a house out in the mountains when there are no roads able to carry a moving van! And it will be a long time before they will be able to re-build the main road....
On the other hand, if you ARE determined to live in the mountains, and want to be "remote", you will be remote! And we definitely are in the right location to avoid damage due to flooding! It is a very well-built house!
UPDATE: While driving, i noticed the rock-slide rubble pushed to the side of the roads. I thought about how all the rain loosened so many rocks and that there would probably be more rock falls given that the roads are literally cut into the mountain sides-- and I concluded that I wanted to minimize my trips out to the house. Last night, I read about a family hiking on an "easy" safe trail in Colorado south of here that was killed in a rock slide. Experts attributed the rock-slide to the heavy rains we had gotten and to recent freezes. Remember, freezing water can break rock! And obviously, the freezing weather is breaking water-saturated soil and rock loose.
I had been thinking in terms of inconvenience due to blocked roads and/or possible injury. Now I realize that to make a trip out there to maintain the house during the fall and winter is to take my life in my hands. And no, there aren't alternative safe routes. THOSE roads got washed away and will take years (we are told) to re-build.