The Day That The Rains Came Down on St Catherine's
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Overnight we had 4" of rain
It started raining on the evening of 8th August 2004 and continued fairly steadily for about 18 hours during which time between 3 and 4 inches of rain fell. I know this because I left a straight sided bucket standing out of doors, and on the 8th it was empty and by midday on the 9th this was how much rain it had in it. By Friday 13th six inches of rain had fallen! Afternote: by the end of the month the bucket was full to the brim.

The rain did not fall steadily but varied in intensity from time to time. It seemed to rise to some sort of peak about mid morning on the 9th when the burn started overflowing into our back garden and, unbeknownst to me at the time, various other much more catastrophic floods were afflicting other people in the local area. 

Along at the Post Office Alison found herself cut off. The burn had burst its banks, overflowed into the field behind the Post Office and then simply found its way down the hill to the lochside by the most direct route. The water didn't actually get into the building but there was about a foot of water rushing down the front path and into the road.

People who had lived in St Catherine's for many years said that this was the worst rain that they could remember and certainly I have never seen the like in the twelve months I have been here.

On the road down to Strachur a culvert was blocked by rocks and debris brought down by the flood. This caused the water to flood out onto the road, depositing a load of mud and stones.

 

Traffic proceeded very gingerly on the flooded road.

The police were quickly on the scene, busy on their radios, reporting the mayhem back to their headquarters. One householder told me that the water had run off the road and down his garden path gouging a trench 18" deep. So much timber and other debris was swept into the loch that boats could not operate in safety. A landslip closed the Inveraray road entirely at Cairndow.