Saturday, September 17, 2016

My house wants to become a redneck version of Fallingwater

Fallingwater is an architectural masterpiece by Frank Lloyd Wright, built over a waterfall called Bear Run. 

Our house is trying to become a redneck version of Fallingwater with a waterfall flowing down from our neighbor’s property, flooding the sidewalk, and then gushing out under the house and over the recycled tire terrace on the back side. 

Ahem, this is the "redneck" version of Fallingwater, Notice there are two streams of water flowing over the recycled tire terraces - this is the backside of the house, over a gulch. I know the pic doesn't look that dramatic, but I have video too... If the video below doesn't play, this is the link:

The other side of the "waterfall," affecting the outside washer and dryer. If it doesn't play below, the video link is

The waterfall thankfully was temporary. It happened on Tuesday the 13th, one of the gnarliest days for flash flooding on Maui. Even Lahaina, the town renowned for perpetual sunlight, got drenched. Some people in West Maui were trapped in their houses by boulders that blocked their front doors when their neighborhood river overflowed. Other people in Iao Valley got flooded out of their homes, with water breaking their doors. And, the state was telling Kihei and Central Maui residents to boil their water due to possible water contamination. Crazy, huh?

In 12 years, our house has NEVER experienced that much water runoff. We’ve had heavy rain in the past, but Tuesday the 13th gave us our own Niagara Falls. The parking lot was flooded, and we had waterfalls gushing along ALL the sidewalks and concrete pathways, in addition to under our house.  Our neighbors recently cut down the panax hedge on their side of the fence, and maybe those plants helped suck up runoff water in previous heavy rainstorms. Or maybe the neighbors changed their gutters. Who knows what all the factors are?

It’s like the tale of the butterfly flapping its wings which affects the other side of the world. 
Also, it's not a good idea to go in the ocean with all the brown water

So, no damage from the double trouble hurricane threat for Labor Day weekend, but unexpected massive flooding this past Tuesday. It’s dry now. We’re praying for dry weather so we can clean up under the house, repair the areas, and get a landscaper here to look at ways to divert the water flow.

We contacted a couple of landscapers but in typical Maui fashion, they are in no hurry to look at our yard. (Ok, I heard back from one of them, and he’s about to go on vacation and doesn’t have time to consult with us.)

In the meantime, we are looking at creating a fake stream bed of concrete blocks and sandbags, mimicking nature, to channel the water along the sidewalk towards the far side of the house where there are more plants.  If that doesn’t work, the next step is to look into French drains or curtain drains, which is probably going to be a lot more expensive.

Never a dull moment at the jungalow! Isn’t there a Chinese blessing (or maybe it’s a curse?): “May you live in interesting times!" This really means, "May you have drama, lots of drama!"

Between termites, our crazy weather, last month's overheated circuit breaker box, and building my recycled tire terrace, life has been interesting in the Chinese sense of the word.  

BTW, this is so unrelated but I don’t know when I’ll be doing any social media this month: 

1)     Haliimaile Community Garden is part of the Foodland Give Aloha program. So if you shop at Foodland and want to donate money in September to HCG, code #78790, Foodland will match your contribution, dollar for dollar.  Your contribution is tax deductible. 
2)     The Hawaii Farmers Union United is having an event for anyone who is interested in becoming a farmer and wants to become go through a farm apprenticeship program, which includes business classes, farming and agriculture classes, and other workshops. It’s for people who are career minded and want to farm successfully and make a living at it. Here's the link: Do you want to be a farmer?

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