MUDDY RIVER Mill Creek outside of Healdsburg runs brown with mud from recent rainfall.

Forty days and 40 nights. Biblical? Not exactly. But it does feel like Sonoma has day after day of rainfall. Visions of rain desired through dry summer days and fire season are here now as roads, fields and creeks flood. According to Sierra at Tahoe, snowfall picked up after a slow, warm start. Seasonal accumulation to date (from first snowfall) is 87 inches; last year’s seasonal total was an epic 687 inches—only 600 to go. It looks like snowpack is accumulating at a rapid pace now.

Fun facts: Global flooding it’s not, but new scientific theories posit an asteroid shower hitting the northern polar ice cap during the Ice Ages as a possible cause for the universality of flooding myths.

New-ish scientific theories on ice dams are also posited for long unsolved geomorphological features in the Pacific Northwest. Prehistoric Lake Missoula, estimated to be nearly the size of Lake Michigan, flooded eastern Washington and Oregon after glacial ice dams collapsed unleashing an estimated 500 cubic miles of water.

Successive collapses in the vicinity of Glacier National Park during the Ice Ages, from 2.4 million–12,000 years ago, are now generally accepted as the cause of the “Scablands.” The Scablands are the high-desert plains with “lake bottom” features etched into the now-dry landscape of eastern Washington and Oregon. These massive floods are also said to be the reason the Columbia River turns sharply west to run laterally across Oregon to the Pacific Ocean.

The Bible says it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, and waters continued to rise for 110 days in Noah’s time. Noah’s ark was reported to be 300 cubits—or about 500 feet—long, 75 feet wide and 50 feet high. There are approximately 20 inches in a cubit.  

The Titanic was 882 feet long, 92 feet wide and 175 feet tall. The Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ship which launches this week, is 1,200 feet long and 160 feet wide; it reportedly will hold about 8,000 people—5,610 passengers and 2,350 crew.

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