Yokoji-Zen Mountain Center

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Post-storm update

August 27, 2014 by Yugen

Jim Lakey Rev. Jim Yugen Lakey
Yokoji Zen Mountain Center

A few weeks ago a storm passed through the valley and over the course of 25 minutes, rained heavily, triggering the most debris flow we have experienced since last summer. The storm was both cause for concern as well as celebration.

The defenses that protect the center held up well. The massive debris pits upstream of the buildings completely filled and overflowed, thereby doing their job by slowing down the power of the initial heavy flow. The newly excavated and reinforced stream bed worked, but was heavily eroded on the sides in places, exposing and breaking gas and waste lines. There was no damage done to any of the buildings and the flow was effectively channeled through the grounds.

Exposed Pipes

The downside is twofold: first, the cost of repairing the damage and second, the realization of the damage that can be caused by only twenty five minutes of rain a year on from the fire.

The residents have been working flat-out on the repairs over the last few weeks. We hired the excavation contractors to dig out the debris pits again, as well as extend and expand certain diversion channels which during the storm were shown to need some modification. The area of the stream bed that was eroded down to the gas and water lines was filled in and an alternative route was dug out for the stream bed which is both more direct and further away from both the buildings and the buried lines. The storm showed us the areas of weakness in our defenses and have given us a chance to make improvements. The cost for these improvements will be in the thousands, likely between ten and fifteen thousand. Hopefully a lot of these improvements will be one-offs, but the need to re-dig the debris pits after each substantial debris flow is an ongoing reality. The sheer amount of earth that needs to be moved, and the reach required to get to it, rules out using our own tractor, so calling in the contractors each time is necessary.

That is where we currently stand with the state of the grounds. The hard work over the year really paid off, as without it, that single storm could have done untold damage. Right now there is still a lot of work to be done finishing off the repairs and improvements. As always, help is really appreciated at these times, so any volunteers this or next week would be a great boon. Thank you.

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