El Niño Journal, Thursday, Jan. 15,1998

1.6″ last night and it is still raining! Expected to last today through tonight, so I guess I’ll call Nina and tell her to forget Friday. Last night’s rain brings us up to 30.10″ to date.

My records indicate that end of January totals were:

1995- 36″ – Rd. Closed in all 3 directions in March.

1996 – 21″ – mild year

1997 – 65″ – road closed in lots of places, but no rain after Jan.

I’m going to call Kimball at 7:30 to see what we hear about road conditions and whether school is scheduled for today.

Per SLO tv, January is our wettest month, but here on the South Coast we have had some pretty heavy rains in March. 1995 an 1983 stand out. Both times the Hiway closed to the north for significant periods of time. March 1995, [rains] took out the Carmel River Bridge. With the help of the Army Corps of Engineers, a temporary Bailey Bridge, and a contractor who worked his men (including Kenny Comello) 12 hour days they were able to complete the bridge in 28 days.

I should probably go back and read that journal [March 1995] but I remember it vividly. Cambria was flooded – under about 3′ of water. The road in from the East, Nacimiento Fergusson, all bridges washed out and there was a slide on the south end of Highway One.

In March of 1983 I was still in Orange County [my last year as it turned out] but coming up to Esalen often. That year, the biggest slide in history occurred at Julia Pfeiffer Burns. That slide took 14 months to repair, and it’s been unstable ever since.