A Turn for the Worse
September 05, 2013 by Yugen
Following yesterday's storm, Apple Canyon Road is closed. The whole valley is full of debris flow, the paved road only navigatable after some thick mud and fallen trees were cleared by Caltrans. The mile long road to the center was barely accessible this morning and after this afternoons storm, we don't know if it will be at all accessible tomorrow. All the drainage ditches are full of mud, the road is marked with channels and debris flow. Yokoji was hit harder than ever.
This week, there has been a storm every day and the forecast for the foreseeable future (which in meteorological terms is this time next week) shows that the pattern is going to continue. We had prepared for the weather, digging channels and pits and building defenses in the hope of mitigating any further damage. Yesterday morning it looked like most of our defenses had worked and the damage was minimal, as we prepared for the storm that was predicted to hit in the afternoon. After yesterday's storm, the story is painfully different.
The parking lot is full of mud and rock. Maybe 2 feet in places, maybe 4 or 5 in others. It is hard to gauge. The workshop is again awash with mud, the debris flow having crested the defenses we previously put in. As of now, none of the buildings have suffered major damage. However, the Buddha Hall and Zendo are both at serious risk if more weather comes through as predicted, and many of the other buildings are also threatened. The practice house and Jisha cabin were both surrounded by mud, having escaped unscathed in previous storms. The Jisha cabin has about 3-4 feet of mud piled up against the rear of the building, and unfortunately I forgot to close the sliding glass door fully on that wall (I live in the cabin) and an inch of mud has filled the bedroom and front room of the cabin. Tenshin Roshi's house further up on the hill is also surrounded by mud and debris.
The wells were connected together with provisional plumbing which was staked into the ground. The ground washed away, leaving the pipes exposed and they broke off and washed away.
Following this storm it is clear that we cannot stay at the center at this time. The storm yesterday was seemingly no more intense or prolonged than the prior storms, but the cumulative effect of the storms this week seems to be the major desctructive force. The residents have all been evacuated, and will return in the mornings before the storms hit over the next few days (they always come in the afternoon) in order to administer triage to the increasingly defenseless center.
The September sesshin is now canceled as is the October sesshin. The training period entrance and Sunday program is also canceled. The center is closed to visitors until further notice. The long term plan for the center is being discussed as we try and figure out what to do. For now, please do not attempt to come up.
We will post more news as events unfold.
Apple Canyon Road closed as of yesterday
All the trash cans washed away. Again.
Behind the Jisha Cabin
the whole area from the Buddha Hall down is buried in deep mud and rock
The mud is right up to the window. The drain for this area is about 5 feet below the level of the mud.
The broken plumbing at the well site
Leaving today before the storm moved in
The residents met at Lake Hemet during todays evacuation