Tropical storm Hilary
Tropical storm Hilary had an impact on Southern California and the Tehachapi Valley. Most obvious was the impact on curtailing the Mountain Festival activities. A less obvious impact was on the Tehachapi Depot. While not quite as horrific as the 1932 rains and floods of that era, Hilary was more subtle. Most may not know that under the freight room of the depot there is a basement. In the basement there is a drain in the floor to capture potential condensation from the air conditioning units and the moisture is allowed to run off into a leach pipe that discharges under the lawn between the depot and Tehachapi Boulevard. In the case of Hilary, the rain dripped off the roof and onto the lawn and accumulated to the existent that the water from the outside drained into the basement. As a result, the depot basement was flooded with up to a foot of water and damaged numerous collectible items that were being sorted, catalogued and stored in the basement. Many hours of volunteer time and effort were laid to waste. This is a set-back for the Friends of the Tehachapi Depot team that strived to preserve and present these items of railroad history to our visitors. So next time you visit the depot, Thursday through Mondays 11am to 4pm (Note the restoring of Thursday visitation starting in September), this will explain why you may see some sad faces lamenting the loss. Make plans to stop in and cheer us on as we clean up from Hilary and move forward with our efforts of maintaining the depot as the “Jewel of Tehachapi”.