#189 In which our hero relates the events of the great deluge, that is to say, last Thursday.
Actually, this happened November 30, but I’m only getting around to writing about it now. Mostly because I thought the photos would tell the tale much better than I.
So, as briefly related by The Scientist, our basement flooded. Well, it would have flooded if we didn’t happen to be down there when the water started to trickle, then flow, then gush into our basement. It was actually quite impressive how quickly it got out of control. Something else that we wouldn’t have realized until too late had we not been down there -- the drain isn’t the lowest part of the basement.
Water came in between the bottom of the wall and the floor, roared toward the drain, past the drain, and toward the finished part of the basement. See?
We mopped like crazy and tried to keep ahead, all the while falling rapidly behind. Our first thought was that this was related to the sewer work in the front yard. The Scientist got on the phone and chewed the contractor a new hole, and told him to get someone out there NOW! Forty-five minutes later, a bored and very wet plumber was tramping around our backyard.
Now, the backyard. It floods. This is something we learned after the first hard rain after moving in; it’s annoying, but otherwise harmless (or so we thought). So it came as no big surprise that there was standing water in the backyard, especially considering how hard it had been raining.
Bored plumber knocks on the back door. I stick my head out and have this conversation.
BORED PLUMBER: Have you seen your backyard?He sloshes around the house, makes sure the drains are flowing (they are), says he feels for our plight and leaves. We struggle for another hour or so. I turn on some music.
ME: Yeah, I know, it floods.
BP: Well, that’s your problem.
ME: Uh huh.
BP: The water is flowing toward your house. It should travel away.
ME: Right. Okay, so what can we do about this?
BP: Well, you should re-grade the backyard so water travels away--
ME: Yeah, yeah; what can we do about it tonight?
BP: Um. Nothing.
The Scientist and I have some tense moments since we’re both pretty much at a loss for what to do. The rain isn’t showing any sign of slowing, but we can’t stay up all night mopping. But if we stop it’s going to be a flood. Finally, she realizes that we need sandbags or something to build a little damn to hold the water in. I agree and head out to the only place open at 2AM on a weekday: Wal-Mart.
And Wal-Mart is closed.
I thought that fucking place was always open. I drive to Target; also closed. The only place I can think of for sure that’s open is the grocery store. But I can’t imagine they have anything that would help us. I mean, it’s not like they sell sandbags, right? Then again…
In a fit of inspiration brought about by desperation, I get an idea. I buy every bag of rice they have. Turns out rice works pretty damn well as sandbags.
We shore up everything as well as we can, and finally drag ourselves off to bed. Come morning, the basement is none the worse for wear; the ricebags held.
Then comes the inevitable calls to contractors to discuss how we can fix the yard so this never happens again. Turns out the ultimate answer is “expensively.”
For the first time in my life I find myself praying for bitterly cold weather. See, once the water freezes, it’s no longer a problem.