Heavier Rains, More Flooding, and a Huge Tree Across our Drive

Andrew J. Wharton under huge tree across our driveway in Whakatete Bay, New Zealand

Huge tree and couple of widow makers above it

Yesterday and last night was a huge storm, with wild winds and lots of rain.  When we woke this morning, Andrew commented that our creek was roaring loud.  Everything was soaked, but all our orchard trees, both old and young, seemed to be fine.  (Good thing we staked the newest ones this week.)

After holding open the gate for Andrew to drive to work, I took the camera down to the creek and snapped a couple of shots.  Our little creek was indeed higher than I’d ever seen it, but it has very deep banks and so was not actually flooding over the banks.

Widow Makers above Andrew J. Wharton in our driveway in Whakatete Bay, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
Andrew points out the widow makers (I later brought them down safely)

When I got back to the house, I saw Andrew was driving back home.  I thought, “Oh, no, not another slide.”  Fortunately, it was not another slide.  Instead, it was that one of our huge gum trees (eucalyptus) had fallen across our driveway, blocking the drive.

We headed down there with our chainsaw, and, while Andrew cleared away the branches that were already on the ground, I cut a few of the smaller branches still connected to the tree, blocking the drive.  We cleared enough so that cars can get through, but it was a tight fit.

Our car barely fitting through fallen tree mess

Andrew on his way to work, tight quarters

After Andrew headed to work, I continued to cut away the branches in the driveway, until I had cleared just about the entire width of the drive.  But I am not going to try to cut that huge tree across our drive.  Fortunately, the tree is high enough that even our neighbor’s large truck can get under it.

Now we have a tunnel driveway.  I hope everyone will agree that we leave that big tree in place until the ground dries and settles.  Otherwise, my fear is that if we cut out that tree, its root system will slide right down into our driveway.  That would be a slip probably at least three times the size of the one we had last week.  The tree is stable, but the soil in the roots of it (sitting sideways at the moment and held in place by the tree) would not hold if the tree were removed.

Our driveway in Whakatete Bay, New Zealand, cleared but for the largest tree
Cleared driveway, but for the largest tree

Anyway, for now, we have a cleared driveway and a bit more firewood for next winter (since the wood has to season/dry before burning in the wood stove).

Oh, and there have been many more slips around the Coromandel Peninsula, but so far I’ve not heard of anything as bad as last week.  Let’s hope that everything settles down now and dries out before the next storm (due later this week).

 

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One Response to Heavier Rains, More Flooding, and a Huge Tree Across our Drive

  1. Colin says:

    Hi Dave – wow you are getting great value out of that chainsaw!! And what an amazing job you have done on the driveway – both times. That’s a huge amount of firewood you’ve lopped off the fallen tree – I bet Tazman has enjoyed escorting the wheelbarrowsful to the lockup where you keep rabbits and firewood. And you will be very fit after all those trips up and down the steep driveway – just as well it’s not this weekend we are planning to come and stay in the camper.
    It was very heartening to hear that the creek has stayed within its banks – funny that we were just talking about its flooding possibilities when we stayed with you – and that your fruit trees continue to flourish, in spite of the heavy dousings from above – stakes was a very good idea.
    I do trust you are both well, that Andrew has recovered from the bug he had and that all those new nails in the roof are doing a fantastic job of keeping things water-tight for you both.
    Blessings – Glen