Of course no one can predict when these things are going to happen but you do need to be prepared as much as possible.
We had one such incident last year, when we had an excessive amount of rain in a very short time.
Our coconut trees which we had planted about 18 months before were flooding. We took advice and were told they will be okay if the water doesn't get to the trunk.
The water continued to rise, and I made the decision to dig up at least 20 trees. This was 5% of some of our best trees. By digging them up I had no idea whether they would survive. If left I wasn't certain they would they die. We had a week of discussions of shall we shan't we dig them out. These are the trees which are going to be supporting us financially in the future, not just looking pretty in a garden. My thought was about the potential loss of revenue associated with those trees.
Finally I just grabbed the spade and wheel barrow and waded into shin deep water to save these trees.
My husband is an amputee and can't get his prosthetic wet so it was down to me.
In lashing rain, I drove my spade into the sand slicing off roots which we had been nurturuing. I carried on the full circumference of the tree, lifting heavy wet sand away from the tree. Now knee deep in water around the tree, I began push the palm to see if it would assist me in saving it. The wet sand acted like a suction keeping the palm for itself.
Ants and beetles which had fled up the tree to escape the rising water were now in my shirt, biting me, and leaving large welts behind.
There were cross words spoken about me cutting through the buried irrigation pipe, and tempers began to flare. I felt I was taking control of the situation potentially saving 5% of our better trees. We had invested a lot of time, money and effort in these trees and I didn't want to lose them.
When we initially bought our land, there had been an unprecedented amount of rainfall, or so we were told. People in their 50s said they had never seen it so high. When we had our land leveled, we neglected to find the high water line and this resulted in our problem. Now with our mounds, we have a solution, although it isn't the ideal one. Once the trunks are mature they will be able to withstand a couple of months standing in water.
Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing? If we had made some critical decision earlier, we would have saved ourselves some of these headaches.
I think these are a few things to take into consideration in a crisis situation.
- Act quickly: Action wins out every time. If something needs fine tuning afterwards then do it.
- Work as a team: Second guessing the decision doesn't help, once a decision is made, do it fast. Support is crucial.