But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
Robert Burns, from "To a Mouse "
A wee spot of trouble yesterday and last night. The last courtiers of Tropical Storm Nicole hung around the party long enough to finish their devastation in North Carolina, slowly traveling up the eastern seaboard and bringing a full day of heavy rain here yesterday.
As a consequence, I stayed inside most all day, listening to the slowly-maddening drum of the drops on the tin roof of the abode, keeping the fire up, checking on the dog (curled inside her house, waiting it out like me), reading and writing.
I took some pictures of the event as it unfolded, and will take some more of the aftermath as I am able. Here's one of the coffer damn built to permit pouring of the first footer, which can be seen in the bottom. I apologize for the poor picture quality. Please note the breaches in the coffer damn wall, which is otherwise holding well.
Here's one from last night. You can see the coffer dam is now fully submerged, but intact.
And finally, from this morning, around 0800:
Structurally, the impacts are negligible. We'll have to wait for the water to recede, however, before any additional work may be done. There was some damage to the driveway - on the other side of the dirt pile in the background is a two-culvert system draining a swale that experiences flows during heavy rains.
One of the culverts washed from its location, about two hundred feet downstream. I am informed of this my my contractor, who told me that the excavator dropped by this morning to check on the driveway. We have ordered additional stone, an additional culvert (widening it to three), and will repair it over the next day or so.
Meanwhile, I am reduced to foot power for mobility, as I cannot cross the damaged section of the drive in my car.
C'est la vie.
Of far more importance is the impact to our construction schedule, which is substantially behind. After some sticker shock on the 23rd, we halted progress until a redesign of the bridge could be effected, to bring the cost to a more reasonable level (from 48,000 to just under 30,000). This necessitated a request for an extension from the DEC - by law, stream impacts are not to occur from September 30 to May 15th - which was granted, providing us until the 15th of October to emplace the abutments and complete all excavation and backfill.
Two weeks is a tight construction schedule - we had been intending to lay forms today and pour concrete tomorrow, but now we are set back a day.
The abutments are the key; the deck may be emplaced without impact to the stream, and it is of lesser concern. Without the bridge, however, there is not chance of beginning construction on the house. And, after witnessing this rain event, I am even more firmly convicted that up the hill is the place to build.