You think you've got concerns about the rains forecast for today and tomorrow?

Be glad you don't make your home in the bottom of the Santa Cruz, as my friends Terri Franco and Dan McLeod do.

I've written about Terri and Dan since February, mostly in the context of how to help the homeless. A great thing about them, and their former camp-mate George Hammond, is how neat a camp they keep under a tamarisk tree near the edge of the river floor.

This morning, I visited them, and they're determined to stick out this storm, even though last week's rains put 7 or 8 inches of water in their camp. As the rain drizzled down, Terri pointed out the book she's reading, on the cot in her tent.

"I'm reading Catch-22, and we're in a Catch-22," she said.

The dilemma is that to be safe, they should leave the camp. But that would mean abandoning their belongings and their dogs, something they're not prepared to do. So, as long-time "urban campers," they're using their wits and sticking it out for now.

Last week, Dan told me, "My tent was floating. I had to tie it to a tree."

Now they've cleaned out the mud and debris only to have today's storms threaten them again. 

"We're just going to stay on alert," Terri said.

"You can hear the water come," she added. "When you live down here, you get attuned to it."

Contact columnist Tim Steller at or 807-7789. On Twitter: @senyorreporter​