Fighting a losing battle

"Somebody up there likes me," middleweight boxing champ Rocky Graziano would often say.

Nowadays, we've got to wonder is anybody up there likes anyone in Southwestern Virginia. I worked long and hard regrading my driveway after last week's storms washed it out for the umpteenth time this year. Wednesday's hard thunderstorm did it again and another storm blew through Floyd a few minutes ago meaning God knows what I will find when I get home later today.

More storms are forecast for today and tomorrow, meaning even more of the driveway will wash away and end up somewhere in Franklin County.

"Somebody up there likes me," middleweight boxing champ Rocky Graziano would often say.

Nowadays, we’ve got to wonder is anybody up there likes anyone in Southwestern Virginia. I worked long and hard regrading my driveway after last week’s storms washed it out for the umpteenth time this year. Wednesday’s hard thunderstorm did it again and another storm blew through Floyd a few minutes ago meaning God knows what I will find when I get home later today.

More storms are forecast for today and tomorrow, meaning even more of the driveway will wash away and end up somewhere in Franklin County.

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9 Responses

  1. So long as you allow the water to gather and concentrate, all the while picking up energy, and the path of least resistance is down the path of your gravel driveway it will wash. And you will work to re-establish supremacy and moan to all that can bear to listen.

    You need a stronger crown to the grading, and you’ll have to get the water onto the lawn, or another grassy swale, ideally where it can find it’s way around the contour and then spread (harmlessly) and flow on the route gravity has pre-ordained with the full potential of recharging our still stressed aquifer, rather than contributing its sediment load to yet another swollen creek.

    Best of luck this weather is a test for all site work.

  2. Jeff:

    The driveway did have a strong crown, one that resisted storms for the last two years but the unrelenting assault of heavy storms overwhelmed that crown, wore it down, and filled the drains along the sides with rock and slurry. I have regraded the driveway five times this year but the schedule of rains has not allowed time for the slurry to dry and harden between storms.

    Sadly, there’s no way to get the water the upper the lawn because the original construction of the driveway and landscaping of the yard left the lawn higher than the driveway and, as you point out, gravity takes over. We inherited that mistake when we bought the house and resources in this economy do not allow for either paving or a driveway redesign.

    While I appreciate advice and wecome critical comment, you’re making assumption here without looking at the overall layout of my driveway. Contrary to your assumptions, the gravel and sediment that washes down the driveway DOES NOT find its way to the creek at the bottom of my driveway still has a strong crown and both go into the lower yard, not the creek.

    You have expertise in this area but rather than pass judgment without having all the facts, why don’t you take the time to actually take a look at my driveway and offer some constructive advice rather than offer snide assumptions without having all the facts. Several others have done this and offered sound advice. Floyd Countians are known more for helping their neighbors. I know it’s harder than standing back and throwing brickbats from afar (I have a lot of experience doing that) but it certainly is more neighborly.

  3. Doug, have you considered installing some cross-drains to help pull some of the water away from the driveway and have it go elsewhere in your lower yard? You could place a few small inlets at a few places to help gather and move the water away from the driveway. It will definitely take some muscle and time to accomplish, but it may permenently solve your problem of too much water concentrating down the single path of least resistence. I’m having to do something similar at my house. We get runoff from the road and our front yard that collects in front of our house, ponds there, and then floods down our driveway to our backyard, taking my flowerbed mulch and driveway gravels with it. I have a nice 4-inch deep channel now that I cannot manage to keep gravel in, despite having laid my driveway with a triple layer of compacted crusher run.

  4. While you have received much well-intentioned advice on the driveway erosion, this reader thinks that there is a more plausible explanation and solution. Especially with yet more rain on the way…..

    To these untrained eyes, the eroded path in your driveway is clearly from HOG wheelies. Dude, don’t you know you could put someone’s eye out slinging that gravel!?

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