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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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 ………
 

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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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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
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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 …..

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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Discussion Starter #6
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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Mercedes

Does yours have all-wheel drive?
 

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We experienced that here in NY a number of years back. It was early spring and a good snow pack already on the ground and we got slammed with 2 feet more on a Friday followed by 3 days of warm rains. The creek along my property was a raging river that took out the culvert pipe leaving a 40 foot wide crater and no road. On the other side the same creek passes under the road again with the same but much worse damage. We were here to stay and my basement began to back up with over a foot of water once the power went out and the sump pump shut down. Fortunately I have a trash water pump with gas engine and once I got it set up I was able to keep ahead of the in flow of water to the basement. For some reason when we first moved here I had the foresight to put any of our valued storage boxes on top of double stacked wood pallets which proved to be a savior for our treasures. Likewise both our furnace and the hot water heater were installed on elevated blocks which saved them from serious damage. It took my county 5 days to repair the roads for travel to and from our home after replacing the 8 foot culvert pipes on both sides east and west. Out in front or our house the mail box was in water right up to the bottom of the box which is 4 feet high. I had a friend who lived on the next road over to the north who had a very over built trail Jeep with monster tires and highly lifted. He appeared through the woods with a small electric generator capable of running power for our fridge and freezer before all the food was ruined.

After this even I did some inspecting and found that the pipe our sump pump drains from was the cause of the water coming into the basement. It was just a straight pipe angled down toward the creek and I have since added an Anti Back flow flap to prevent water coming back up the pipe. I also installed a new gas generator and and transfer switch so all the house can maintain electricity during outages as long as I have the fuel to keep it running. I keep 30 gallons of non E gas on hand at all times treated with stabilizer and rotated every month. This will give us a full week of stand by power and if needed we always have the fuel in both SUVs we could tap from. They considered this a 100 year event here and then just 4 years later hurricane Sandy blew through and did it all again and even worse however I was fully prepared and we went for 8 days without power and again stuck right here with no roads in or out. The county finally got smart and installed 12 foot culvert pipes in pairs under the roads. The power company is still slacking with large evergreen trees close to the overhead power lines that have very shallow roots and are subject to up root during strong winds once the ground is saturated. Happens all the time and all too often one tree falling takes out a dozen or more of the power poles. I only have one other full time neighbor here on our road and they become leaches during these events because they are totally unprepared. We do get a fair warning before these conditions do hit and I advised him to either buy or rent a generator just before Sandy got here. He did rent one but the dumb SOB never gave any thought and only had a 5 gallon can of gas which was empty after the first day. He came in search of extra gas and I gave him a siphon hose to get it from his car and even had to instruct him how to do it. Too bad both of their vehicles were on just about empty at the time and that is when I caught an attitude. I can't help people too stupid to help themselves. Giving up my reserve gas would leave us both in the dark if the power remains off for an extended period which it did.

Driving on flooded roads is a nightmare in search of a place to happen. More than a few cars drove right into where these culverts had washed the roads away and you just don't see it until it is way too late. We have one bridge here that goes over a big marsh that overflows all the time. The water usually only gets about 2 feet deep at the bridge so people still drive over it slowly during the floods and most trucks or SUVs can go that deep. The Sandy storm was different and the bridge got washed right away and of course so did a pick up truck that drove right off where it used to be.

At the pub was probably the best option and decision you made Purple and good to hear you are safe. Now it is imperative that you take your car to either a DIY car wash place or one of the automatic ones and run it through a few times concentrating on the under side if the water you drove through was salt.

GaryL
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I’m pretty sure going through that last “lake” on the way home the next day took care of the underside of the car – lol

The Mercedes is still showing the amber engine management light on the dash, so I guess it’s time to get it into the shop to have it checked out (more money, but it could ended up a lot worse)

Pulled the last of the branches out from the grill this morning – no apparent damage

This is the car – a Mercedes E350 C207 Petrol Coupe – hardly an “all terrain” vehicle, but she took care of both of us that night, (which is all the more remarkable for being petrol with all the associated ignition electrics) …….


mercedes-benz-e-class-3-5-e350-blueefficiency-se-7g-tronic-2dr-181882589-5.jpg
 

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This has nothing to do with the situation you were in the other night, but I looked up Anglesey on the web after you posted this.
It looks like a lovely place, do many of the local people still speak Welsh? And have you posted many pictures of the area? If so I would like to go back and see them.
Thanks for posting this.
 

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I poked about the inner neck reading about the area where all this happened. Very interesting history. Technically it was finally conquered by the Romans although not completely. They only wanted to be able to say that they wiped out the druids although that seems to be in doubt.
A good starting point for those interested is here in the wicked pedia, Anglesey: Druid’s island. although you could also start at , Aynys Mon.
Having lived on an island for most of 8 years I can say that flooding on an island generally stops when the rain stops because it all runs off into the ocean
and cannot stay long after. The best thing is to stay put on a high piece of real estate and wait it out.
 

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This has nothing to do with the situation you were in the other night, but I looked up Anglesey on the web after you posted this.
It looks like a lovely place, do many of the local people still speak Welsh? And have you posted many pictures of the area? If so I would like to go back and see them.
Thanks for posting this.
There are a couple of threads with pics, but they only touch the tip of the iceberg

http://tw200forum.com/forum/off-topic/19421-anglesey.html

http://tw200forum.com/forum/trails-off-road-adventure-riding/20488-sometimes-its-small-things-count.html

The local population of the Island stands at around 70,000 — with 69% of them Welsh speakers

Although neither myself or my wife are from Wales, we have found the people here to be very friendly and open, and you are as likely to be greeted in Welsh as in English — when we reply in English, they switch over without hesitation, but the warm smile stays the same

They suffer the tourists, frown upon the “holiday home” crowd — but if you live here, they’re a good natured bunch with a cunning sense of humour — but it’s just their way of testing you to see if you’ll take offence, or laugh “with” them at the situation

Learning the Welsh language as an Englishman is almost impossible — as someone once said “you’ve got more chance of learning Swahili”, and the language makes a mockery of phonetics — Crymych, Bwlchgwyn, Gwynfryn, Rhydymwyn, Ysbyty Ystwyth, Cwmystwyth are some of the Welsh place names as an example. How you pronounce two L’s at the beginning of a word bear no relation to the two L’s later on in the same word

But we’re slowly finding place names easier to say, and find that’s the thing that marks you out as “not a tourist”, but a “local” (despite our accent). Around here, it’s seen as a mark of respect, and rightly so — they fiercely defend their language in these parts (especially on Anglesey)

It’s like “Don’t mess with Texas”, but with Druids …..
 
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