The Flood and our Emergency Response


Frankly, after the 2009 flood, we were utterly terrified that another flood might hit us, and, with all the debris dumped by the provincial government into the Rio Vilcabamba, we were extremely vulnerable to additional damage.  We went into "Emergency, Red Alert" mode.  

We brought in a very large backhoe that helped restore the river to its proper course and also placed large boulders along the mile and a half of river that borders our property; in the spirit of “good neighbors”, we also did this on the far side of the river to protect our neighbor’s properties. 

But the backhoe operator could not, by law, remove all that excess debris from the FAR side of the river, since our rights only extend to the middle of the river.   This meant that the river was still filled with debris that we had no legal right to remove (of course they had no legal right to dump it there but...)

At 10-feet intervals, there is an "anchoring column", a vertical stack of these giant tires that goes three meters (10 feet) down into the river bed!  This "plinto" (anchoring column) is filled with (BIG) rebar, cement and rocks.  It ain't going nowhere, folks.

At the same time, we also started creating, in key places, an effective bulwark made of vertical columns of truck tires.  

Between each of these anchoring columns, or "plintos", there is a row of truck-tire-cement & rock columns that are horizontally  tied together with an extensive network of rebar.  This protects us  wonderfully against future floods.....  but it was enormously expensive – almost $50,000 as of 2012. 

Here is a look at how the flood damage has evolved in the fields in front of Café Cosmos:

BEFORE, early March, 2009

DURING, March 26, 2009

AFTER – BEGINNING REPAIRS, September 19, 2009