We don’t mind rain and we don’t mind floods. But the winter storm that’s hitting Northwest Oregon today is something to worry about.
One of the worst wind storms in 20 years is slamming Rogue Farms with winds of 30-40mph, and gusts of 50-60mph. The danger is one of our big trees falling down on the Hop ‘N’ Bed or the Chatoe Rogue Tasting Room. The National Weather Service says to expect widespread power outages and downed trees across the region.
It’s even worse at the Rogue Brewery and Distillery in Newport, Oregon along the Coast. They’re reporting hurricane strength winds along the beaches, and gusts of 65-70mph inland. Batten down the hatches!
This is expected to blow over (pun intended) by this evening. Then it’s another week or so of rain and floods. Three weeks into December and we’ve received 13 inches of rain. That’s about 8.5 inches more than we normally get for the entire month. Up in Portland, they’re saying this is the wettest December ever, and the wettest month in 75 years.
The Willamette River here at Rogue Farms is dropping quickly. Not as much rain in this storm as was predicted. In the latest forecast it looks like we’ll remain flooded through Christmas Weekend.
How To Read This Graph: The blue line shows river levels, and the green and red lines are forecasts. The orange line near the center of the graph shows when we expect flooding at Rogue Farms.
We knew this was going to happen when we first planted our seven varieties of hops here at Rogue Farms. The farm is located on alluvial bottomland. That’s excellent soil, but it’s also prone to flooding.
But winter rain and floods are also good for our hops. They deliver moisture at a critical time, and with each flood, add a new layer of soil to the hopyard. Our rainy winters are an important reason why we have such hop friendly terroir at Rogue Farms.
The flooded hopyard at Rogue Farms.
Farming is about taking risks. When you grow beers and spirits in collaboration with Mother Nature, you have to accept the good and the bad of what she gives you. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Grow The Revolution!