Playing catch up: Day 4 of 4. Floodwaters.

E'erybody sing along: "The Lo-rd said, 'Noah, there's gonna be a flood-y, flood'y!'"
E’erybody sing along: “The Lo-rd said, ‘Noah, there’s gonna be a flood-y, flood’y!'”

It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWN!!

Or, after this, I can post new content instead of, “Hi hi hi, let me catch you up on why I haven’t been posting.” 🙂

So.

While I was away at camp, I received a call from a friend who was like, “Hey, are you doing alright with all of this flooding?”
I was like, “Is it raining in our city? I’m far away, it isn’t raining here.”
He was like, “Oh,” and abruptly ended the phone call.

I thought it was a little odd, but, sometimes our storm sewers back up and the streets flood during heavy rains. Since he’s new-er to our side of town, I assumed he’d never seen anything of the sort, and wrote it off as summer-storm ignorance.

Later that evening (in the midst of spotty, spotty cell phone service), I received a voicemail from my sister, saying our basement had flooded.

Rewind.

A few weeks ago our next-door neighbor had his driveway repaved. Soon after, it rained a heavy summer-storm. After said-storm, an area rug in our basement was found wet, so we took it outside to dry, and tried to figure out how it got wet. We eventually put two and two together and realized that runoff from his new driveway was seeping into our basement, but probably only on very, very rainy days. We talked about piling the dirt on the house once I returned from camp.

Fast forward.

I’m at camp, listening to the voicemail of my sister saying the basement flooded, and I assume she means the area rug was wet again. I assume she’s reminding me about the dirt-against-the-house project when I return home. I note this in my mind, and go back to tending minors on with little-sleep and poor gluten-free provisions.

Eventually the week ended and I drove home, exhausted, hungry, and making NO stops until I was safe and sound at the casa sweet casa. (Not even potty breaks. I was being serious. My car drove beautifully, btw!)

I turned onto the street to see mounds and mounds of trash outside of every house on the block. The block reeked of mildew/ mold/ musty basement to high heaven.

This isn't even half of what was in front of our house.
This isn’t even half of what was in front of our house.

Then I thought to myself, “I guess this was much more serious than I had thought.”

And, it was. Our basement had flooded (totally flooded) fourteen inches high…and we were some of the lucky ones. The sewers had backed up so much in a heavy rain, that water started pouring into people’s basements via drains, basement toilets, basement showers, etc. My coworker had water up to his waist in his basement.

Just so you have an idea--that "bridge" you see over the water is 14 feet high. That's a highway underneath. What what.
Just so you have an idea–that “bridge” you see over the water is 14 feet high. That’s a highway underneath. What what. Source.
I frequently commute on a nearby large highway, dug into the ground at one point so you drive beneath the road. That highway had flooded fourteen feet deep. Just so you know what we’re dealing with, here. Now, this is UNHEARD of in my area. Few people had flood insurance since usually our area never floods. Everyone was at a complete and utter loss.

There were pros and cons to this situation.

For one, my sister and my mother had organized and revamped our basement last spring–all new drywall and paint and the like. So, that was unfortunately ruined to some extent. But, luckily, their organization meant that a lot of things were sorted and in bins/ on shelves above the flood water. Also unfortunately, the photographs my mother painstakingly sorted, labeled and saved throughout our childhood were damaged. So, one at a time, they are being removed from their books, left to dry, and placed in new books. Tedious? Understatement.

I had a drawer of papers, awards, letters of recommendation, etc. from high school forward in the basement. I had acceptance letters of jobs since then, etc. in there. I opened the drawer…everything was stuck together in a soggy mess.

But, you know what, I figured I hadn’t looked at them in a while anyway, so it was a good excuse to chuck. And that’s how we saw a lot of the basement. We tore out shelving units and drywall we meant to take out years ago but never got around to doing. Up and down the stairs we worked, up and down.

Today, there’s a little bit more drywall that needs to be removed. There are mounds and mounds of things placed on shelves that need to be sorted. The tiles in two rooms have been removed and now we need new flooring applied.

But, truthfully, no one was injured and, for that, we’re grateful.
Of the things that were destroyed, most of them were just things anyway, so we were pushed to live more like pilgrims. And, for that, we’re grateful.
Last weekend we hauled and tossed all day long, for a cleaner, leaner house. And, for that, we’re grateful.

Sympathy has been appreciated. But, weep no more, Jerusalem. The time has come for rejoicing. For we had too much stuff and now it has been purged. Wahoo.

Christine looks at all the stufffff.
Christine looks at all the stufffff.

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