Sunday, April 26, 2009

Record Breaking Heat and the 1953 Flood

My first blog posting written while in Bovina!

Bovina and the area came near to or broke the temperature record yesterday. It hit 90 at my house. I am not a fan of hot weather, so I found this to be a bit much for April. My dad loved the heat and would give me grief if I complained. So it goes, but I do like true spring weather. We don't seem to get much of that lately. It is nice, though, to open the windows, turn off the furnace and not to have to worry about pipes bursting when I leave the house.

The heat got me to thinking about Bovina weather - it tends to be a bit cooler than some of the lower surrounding areas because of its elevation. But that also means in the winter, it can get colder than the surrounding areas and impact temperature and snowfall. It can mean getting snow at odd times of the year. I remember a couple of May snowfalls, including one in 2002. And many of you won't soon forget last October's snowstorm that made news on National Public Radio and brought down a number of trees. Two feet in October is pretty freaky - even for Bovina.

One of Bovina's biggest weather events took place August 13, 1953, when a flash flood hit the hamlet of Bovina Center. The storm wiped out five bridges on Bramley Mountain and inaudated Clayton Thomas's garage. Bob Hall had just brought his car into Thomas's garage when the water hit. He spent 45 minutes perched on top of his car before it was safe to get down. The Binghamton Press noted that "a garage sized playhouse used by the children of Mr. and Mrs. Charles McIntosh was torn away from its foundation and carried some 200 yards..." An unoccupied house owned by Lester Hoy suffered a similar fate. The damage from the flood was estimated to cost around $200,000 (equal to about $1.5 million in today's dollars). At the time of the flood, Bovina native Walter (Watt) Coulter noted that the last such flood to hit Bovina happened in 1894.

We may break a temperature record today, but no floods are expected. So I'm out to enjoy the warmth!

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