The Best Laid Plans …

edit// This post was originally drafted April 27, 2013 but wasn’t published.  Upon further reflection, it probably wouldn’t have made any difference in the final outcome of all the legal proceedings challenging the building of a house where two wetlands once stood, along with 70 trees and 33,000 cubic feet of floodway soil.  The wetlands, trees and floodway soil were eliminated in order to provide “onsite compensatory storage” for all the stormwater runoff drainage from the  neighbors east of us, all uphill.   Regardless, it is what it is.  And, We The People ~ well, we tried to be heard.  From this point going forward, whatever negative stormwater runoff impacts to the adjacent neighbors, well, that is on the City of Lake Forest.  Shame on them.
This past September, much of the Atlantic Coast was radically changed by Hurricane Sandy, especially the areas between New Jersey and Connecticut. Then, during this winter, many of the same areas – some still without basic utilities like heat and/or electricity were hit by consecutive Blizzards.  During the February 8th storm, total snowfall in Boston, Massachusetts, reached 24.9 inches, the fifth-highest total ever recorded in that city. New York City officially recorded 11.4 inches of snow at Central Park, and Portland, Maine, set a record of 31.9 inches. Hamden, Connecticut recorded the highest snowfall of the storm at 40 inches.
If you wish to point out that this was a larger than usual rain event, I would be the first to agree with you. I will also point out that it follows the most significant and enduring drought since the dust bowl of the 1930’s.
At 5:30 a.m. the morning of April 18, 2013, water backed up on to my property from two directions.  The experimental drainage system at 27 West Onwentsia was tested for the first time and failed.
Both forward reservoirs filled to capacity flooding my garden and the east side of my property. It even partially submerged the driveway at 27W. Retention ponds and Driveway
The giant catch basin fashioned out of the floodplain and the floodway filled beyond capacity pushing water into my backyard.
In the past, in times of high water, when the river ran over its riverbanks andonto the floodway, the water moved with a current.

Current flowing into floodway

Current flowing into floodway

This time, when the river overflowed onto the floodway, it was different.  The river’s flowing current into the newly re-configured floodway – stopped being a current and ceased to flow.
The new house does indeed resemble a castle with a mote.
This scenario was foreseen by me and many of my neighbors.  In fact, it’s been over two years since ten of us signed a petition opposing this project and submitted it to the City’s Community Development Director, the  Building Review Board Chairman and its Members.
Much the same way, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” …
Weather is what you get when you’re expecting something completely different.

About Onwentsia Memorandum

I am a long time LF homeowner who has been witnessing an expansion of standing water each year getting deeper and wider. Each Spring, the next generation of ducks appear to raise their ducklings. But this year is different. Their habitat has been altered.
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