You don't have to be mad - but it helps ....
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Thread: You don't have to be mad - but it helps ....

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    You don't have to be mad - but it helps ....

    On Wednesday night, Anglesey got hit by torrential rain, and many (most) roads ended up being closed due to flooding

    I was out in the Mercs that night, trying to get home from the mainland, peering through a rain lashed windscreen in the blackness, with my wife in the passenger seat. As we encountered one road closed sign after another, I took to the back roads, attempting to circumnavigate the unfolding chaos, feeling more and more unsure as the night progressed

    With pretty much all of the main roads now closed, the single tracks were my only chance, but the weather just got worse as we attempted a half-arsed massive diversion, our attempts at getting back on route thwarted each time by more “Road Closed” signs at the night went on

    We went through “puddles” like small lakes, and if you didn’t see the water in time, the bow wave sent water up over the windscreen as we ploughed through, but each time, the tires continued to grip, and the engine didn’t miss a beat. I found that going uphill or downhill was easier, or perhaps I should say “up-river and down river”, the water following the course of the road as we carried on (in the middle of quite literally nowhere by now, we had little choice)

    I quickly learned to recognise when to slow down at the bottom of each hill, how to see the water depth from the rubble and branches on the road, and how to tell the depth. The expression “unknown quantity” came into the equation more than once, as we made our way through water sometimes a foot deep

    After close to an hour of this, we made it through to Beaumaris, on the last road open (simply because they hadn’t got around to closing it yet). We tried all four exits from the town, only to find that either the roads had been closed, or abandoned vehicles full of water in front of us. At one point, I could hear my exhausts “gurgling”, and reversed out of there by the skin of my teeth

    At this point, neither of us fancied going back the way we came, so we found a room for the night at a local Pub, and settled down to demolishing the pubs supply of Brandy. The town was effectively cut off by this time, and we listened to the tales of locals who had been through this before, gradually relaxing in the company of people who took this as part of everyday existence. We quickly learned that “resistance is futile”, and that all roads out had been closed at that time, confirming that we’d made the right decision to stay for the night

    We sat and watched the fire brigade turn up (wondering how they got there), to start pumping the flooded homes and shops out. It seems to be a peculiarity of Beaumaris, that every time heavy rain coincides with a high tide (it’s right on the coast), the Castle moat overflows — (yes, it has a Castle) — sending water running down the high street, straight into the basements of several properties. You might think at this point, that having a property with a basement, opposite the moat, might be a bad idea — but that would be to underestimate the stoicism of the inhabitants, who go through this at least once a year

    As one “inhabitant” of the pub put it — “At least we can predict it, and have the fire brigade to pump us out each time. It sounds like you could have been sitting in a flooded car in the middle of the country side until the morning” — I decided he had a fair point

    Beaumaris also has an active coast guard service, who were seen running around, utilising whatever heavy farm vehicles they could find. As the majority of their activity seemed to be focused on the public carpark by the pier, I took comfort in the fact that I’d chosen to park on the main road (on the part that doesn’t flood) instead. I may be crazy, but I’m not daft

    We awoke the next morning to much drier weather, thinking we had to move the car by 08.30 to avoid getting a parking ticket. “Don’t worry about that” the Landlord replied, “The traffic wardens can’t get here either”

    We should have listened to him, as further exploration discovered all the roads we’re still closed, with the main road out looking like this ….

    A545-landslide-at-Garth-Bends.jpg

    We then had two remaining choices on the road situation, the tiny road we had come in on (which proved to be closed, judging by the returning traffic), and the smaller road, which still had a “road closed” sign up. We settled down on the high street again to watch a parked bus, figuring that he at least had radio communication and was the most likely to be told of a route out

    After a short time, the bus pulled out, and we followed, we both ignored the “road closed” signs on the route. I figured if it was good enough for him, then it’s (probably) good enough for us, but after the night before, we were taking it a bit slowly. Only one “mini lake” on the journey, the depth of which I could judge by the guys in wellies trying to clear a path for the accumulated water under a stone wall at the road side

    I knew from the night before that the Mercs could go through a foot of water, so crawled through it, unlike the previous night when I‘d inadvertently crashed through the walls of water. By this time, the amber engine management light had come on on the dash, but she was still running fine, so I figured she had the right to get grumpy after what I’d put her through. We found the main road after that, and reached home shortly afterwards

    Our house was blissfully unaffected by all the flooding, but once I had internet access I learned of the extent of the flooding that night. All roads to our house were closed that night, and we would have never have made it through by an alternative route. Even the main artery A55 was closed in both directions, with the primary town of Llangefni under three feet of water as the local river burst its banks (which we would have been potentially headed for)

    As quickly as the waters rose, they subsided by the next day, and Anglesey went from “lock down” to “open” in the space of 24 hours. Such is the nature of this Island, but locals haven’t seen it this badly affected in 50 years. The weather reports said nothing, no warnings in place, until the next day, when it read “The whole of Anglesey”. Cheers pal - but we’d noticed by then

    My personal observations on the night before: One, get a Mercedes, my Honda would never had made it that night

    And two: They say that Michelin Cross Climate tires have no resistance to Aquaplaning. Absolute bollocks, trust me. I put them to the test that night, and they didn’t falter (under 40mph)

    A tale of an epic journey, lasting no more than two hours — but two hours I will never forget ………
    Last edited by Purple; 11-24-2017 at 01:00 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Badgerflorida's Avatar
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    That coulda gone much worse. I’m sure experience and skill helped a lot. Glad you’re ok. Thanks for sharing
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    Senior Member putt-putt's Avatar
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    WOW, what an epic journey Purple, glad that you guys made it back OK and that your house wasn't flooded! The hair on the back of my neck was standing up a wee bit when you described your muffler "gurgling".........
    I live on Vancouver Island and this must be the wettest November we have seen in 10'years. Glad you are both OK!

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    Senior Member Cascade Rider's Avatar
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    Unexpected adventure

    Terrific story to tell and well written.

    Something about the British teaching of language makes for, in so many individuals (and you included), a gracious and endearing approach to spoken and written words

  6. #5
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badgerflorida View Post
    That coulda gone much worse. I’m sure experience and skill helped a lot. Glad you’re ok. Thanks for sharing
    I must confess that I have no experience or skill driving cars in that environment, but simply applied some common sense and certain amount of “determination” — given the options at that point, determination seemed like a good idea. To its credit, the car did the rest …..

    Quote Originally Posted by putt-putt View Post
    The hair on the back of my neck was standing up a wee bit when you described your muffler "gurgling".........
    Yep — mine too at the time — 30 yards further on there was a car blocking the road with the drivers door open, obviously flooded out. Not the sort of thing you want to come up on after two hours of hell in the middle of the night, complete with the sound effects …..
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    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    A few more pics of the landslide in the morning – apparently a culvert became blocked, sending water down the road, until the sheer weight of it took out the wall and everything below it


    AHR_DPW_231117Roadsliproad222.jpg - _98877674_flood2.jpg


    Doesn’t look too bad in the daylight does it

    Try it on an unlit road in the dark …….
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    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    So glad you are ok brother!!
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    Senior Member Miaugi's Avatar
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    Wow, quite the evening you had. Glad to hear you made it through the night.
    littletommy, Ken, Purple and 2 others like this.
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    Senior Member Cascade Rider's Avatar
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    Mercedes

    Does yours have all-wheel drive?
    littletommy, Ken, Purple and 2 others like this.
    God made mud. God got lonesome. So God said to some of the mud, "Sit up!" "See all I've made," said God, "The hills, the sea, the sky, the stars." And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around. Lucky me, lucky mud. I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had done.
    Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle

  11. #10
    Senior Member bad luck's Avatar
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    We get some flash floods in our canyons, and I've seen car's get washed away. I'm glad that it didn't happen to you.
    Mother Nature can be a bitch at times.

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