Tuesday, September 13, 2011

One More Natural Disaster

After picking up our one car and dropping of our other I spent a day at home with no place to go and no way to get there.  It's nice to have days like that sometimes, especially rainy ones where you can just stay inside and do what you need to do.  This was Wednesday and it had been raining since Sunday.  It turns out the remnant of Tropical Storm Lee was happy to settle his huge self over our region for quite a while and dump a whole lot of rain on us.  All in all, Wednesday was a good day.  I was starting to feel like things were getting caught up around my house.  I was doing laundry, cleaning, etc.

But, I needed groceries.  So, my plan was to get all my housework done so Thursday I could run all my errands, namely getting groceries. 

Well, Thursday morning comes.  The rain is ridiculous.  Roads are just covered in water.  We were up early because Dan picks up Barbara and takes her to work and the kids have to be ready to go by the time he is ready to go since we only have one car and I was riding with them today.

I dropped them off and came home because I figured I would wait out the rain so I, and my groceries, weren't full of water by the time I got home.

Well, I was waiting and waiting, and the rain was pouring and pouring.  At 10 a.m. Dan calls me and tells me I need to get to the school to pick up the kids before they close the bridges and we can't get home.

WHAT?!  Oh my.  The river was rising so high and small creeks were flooding roads.  I tried to take the back roads to avoid crossing the river, but the road was flooded out.  I drove through one of the areas, and then promptly swore I would not drive back through that spot since it felt like there was a big hole forming in the road under the water.  But, when I drove farther down the road there was another spot that was just completely flooded that looked like a pond.  There was NO way I was getting through it.

I turned around and took a dirt road to avoid the flooded spot I had just driven through and headed out to the main highway.  It turned out the southbound lanes on the highway were closed because the road was flooded out.  It was craziness.  Yards were flooding out into the roads, but I made it over the river on the way to the school.  The bridge was still open, but just past the bridge the road was covered in water and we had to take turns crossing in on the lower side of the flooded area.  I was shaking by the time I got to the school.  It was so nerve-wracking.

I stayed at the school for a bit trying to figure out the best way to get home and found out what back roads were closed at that point.  I didn't want to have to cross the bridge again and I didn't want to sit in traffic so I was hoping I could find a back way to Leesport.

I did, and I was grateful.  Meanwhile, Dan stayed at the school to make sure the remaining students and teachers got home okay.

The kids and I are settling in at home, eating lunch, etc.  I told Madelyn she could watch a movie and when she went downstairs she saw water all over our basement.

When I say all over.  I mean ALL OVER.  The kitty litter boxes were literally floating in our storage room  At that point we had 3 inches of water on the floor and I found out later it was continuing to rise.  Our basement NEVER got wet before.

I called Dan and he said he had the same thing going on at the school.  He said there were springs of water coming up from cracks in the floor in the cafeteria.  The poor guy.  We found out our neighbors had 3 feet of water in their basement along with some other neighbors too.  So sad.

I didn't want to get electrocuted by walking in the water so I went ahead and cleaned up the kitchen, showered, got online and waited for Dan to get home.

The first thing he did was climb across the furniture to get to the breaker box to turn off the power.  Smart man.  The second thing he did was pick up what he thought was an empty bag of cat food floating around and half a bag of cat food fell out into the water.  Up until that point the water was fairly clean.  It kind of makes me laugh even now as we continue to clean things up and I find a mushy piece of cat food on something.  It's amazing where all those little pieces ended up.

Make a note of this.  Firemen pump water out of basements.  Amazing!  I was so happy when I saw them pull up next door.  They pumped out as much water as they could.  Packed up their stuff, left, and the water promptly started filling up our basement again.  AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!  Our sump pump just stopped working.

Then the Lord sent an angel.  A parent from the school got word that we needed a new pump.  He got here around 8:30 pm, helped Dan replace the pump, and even stayed to help him mop the water over to the pump.  So kind and generous and kind and even more kind.  He was here until almost midnight even though he had to work the next day.  He saved us so much trouble that night.

The one store that still had pumps was already closed for the night so our basement would have been filling up all night long until we would have been able to buy a new pump.  Ugh.  It could have been so much worse.  The sump pump was working all night long pumping the water out that kept trying to get in.

It's so strange to go downstairs and see NOTHING in our basement.  No couches, no chairs, no tv, etc.  The paint on the floor is all chipped up now.  Our washer and dryer seem to be working though.  That's a praise.  Our surge protector is all warped and funky looking, but our tv seems to be okay.  And, I was super glad I had had Wednesday to get caught up on stuff.  Our basement could have been so much worse had I not been caught up on laundry, or had I not just cleaned it all up for a get together I had the Friday before. 

So, little by little we are getting things figured out.  We have a contractor coming Monday and we are waiting to hear from the ins. adjuster.  Oh, and we are supposed to get more rain tomorrow.  Yippee.

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