STORIES

Flood Fiasco

I’ve been MIA this past week and I apologize!  I’ve had a bit going on and somehow, I have had a difficult time finding time to blog!  So here’s my story….

This is based on true events, and imagine all of this set to Benny Hill music.

We live on one of the highest parts of Rochester, and somehow we have had more struggles with water living here then we ever did in our old house. Rochester has after been described as a bowl, the heart of it in the bottom of the bowl and the rest builds up in a circle around it. Essentially a valley. We live on the top of the dang bowl but still water!

Tuesday last week found us well into several days of rain already, with more on the horizon and threats of flash flooding.

Mother Nature hates to disappoint, and so we received her full wrath here in Rochester.

I was at work and nervous already about how things were going at home. We have always struggled with water run-off from a hill in our back yard. That was alleviated recently with some tiling work. It’s complicated and I’m gonna save you all the little details. It’s enough to say that we knew of a couple problem areas that we still needed to address to stop water getting into the house, but it had been raining for so long that there was never a dry enough spell to fix the problem areas.

About 430pm on Tuesday I received a text from chad that simply said, “call me now!”.

<crap>

Me: What’s up? <already knowing what’s up but asking anyway and dreading the answer>

Chad: water is literally running over the electric panel again.

Me: take a video of it!

Chad: duh, I am. You need to call someone!

I hang up and tell work I have to leave because I have water running over my electric panel at home. I say this as I am laughing, it’s almost a hysterical laugh because it’s almost 5pm in a flash flood and I KNOW we are on our own.

I call our main electric company, RPU. As I suspected they can’t help. I call electric companies, everyone is closed.

I go home to find water running over the electric panel.

I call RPU back.

Me: Umm, I don’t know what to do, I mean water is literally pouring over the electric panel like someone has turned on a faucet. This can’t be safe….

RPU guy: Yeah, I don’t know how it’s not tripping off? We have major outages around the city. Even if I can get a guy out there all they would do is shut electricity off for safety.

Me: We can’t do that, the sump pump won’t run, we will flood for sure. <all I can envision is our house floating down Cassidy Dr>

RPU: That’s the best we can do….

Me: Never mind then.

Chad and I stand there and watch the water running over panel. I am trying to shove caulking stuff around where the main wires run in. Chad is freaking out telling me that I’m gonna get electrocuted and die.

It is a helpless feeling.

Previous to this, we had found where the main power ran into the basement through our foundation. As I said, we had it plugged but after a rain a few days prior it still leaked. They said to then tar it, etc. As I also said, it was too wet to do because it rained for like a week straight since it last leaked.

We had dug a hole where the main power came into house (to get ready to repair it) and it was full of water and pushing in even worse.

We think that maybe if we bail the water out, put the dirt/clay mixture that is our dirt back in hole and cover it with tarp we can hold it back enough to stop it from entering house. That’s our plan as we are standing over the hole in POURING rain.

I go back into garage to get some stuff to bail water our of the hole, and I find Bruce at the inside garage door.

Bruce: water is coming in my window again….. <his window is in the basement around the corner to where the water is coming in over electric panel>

Me: WTH? No?!

Bruce: Yes

Me: Tell Darek to get out here too!

I quickly grab a couple of buckets and head back outside into the pouring rain. I stomp past Chad who’s still standing over the hole thinking the engineering of our plan…

Chad: So I’m thinking….

Me: WE’VE GOT BIGGER PROBLEMS RIGHT NOW!

Chad: <starts to follow me> Bigger than water running over electricity??

Me: Bruce’s window is flooded again and leaking into the house.

Chad: WTF?

It’s a huge window well, about 6 feet wide. The water is about 1/3 the window. I jump right in with my 2 little gallon buckets, and realize it’s almost comical.

Me: Go get something bigger Chad!

Finally, Darek is there and we start bucketing it out. Chad brings anything big that he can find which was a trash can, and the dog’s extra food bin. If it wasn’t such a dramatic, shitty moment I would’ve laughed at him standing there with the dog’s food bin. He jumps in and being the strongest of all of us, manages to get the water below window sill level but there’s still about 6 inches in the well.

I decide to go and investigate and find that the end cap to our drain system is letting water out, but not fast enough (flash flood remember), so I pull it completely off and water literally gushes out.

By the time I got back around the house, the last 6 inches disappeared.

That problem for the moment was resolved.

Now back to the water running over electrical panel problem we have!

We now go around to the main power line. We are literally on our hand and knees bucketing muddy water out of the hole. We want the water out but we need to also get the first back in without water. I cannot tell you what a NOT easy task that was in the pouring, unrest less rain. We fill the hole as quickly, and as best we can with the mud/clay dirt. Then we manage to erect a tarp tent of sorts over the spot.

 

Then we prayed.

Somehow, all of that held and we didn’t get any more water in the basement.

However, the damage was already done.

I think the thing I am most amazed about is that I think of myself as a “thrower”, and somehow I still had enough junk that was shoved in our little storage room to FILL chad’s room (his room is just outside the store room). He literally had a path to navigate through for about 36 hours.

So, seeing all the junk, I went about an impromptu throwing and reorganizing of the storage room! I love purging! It always feels like such an accomplishment.

And all of that has inspired me to start making updates around the house, starting with my bedroom! Not sure how that happened as it’s on the upper most level of the house, and obviously it was our basement that flooded.

As with ALL things, it could be worse!  We could be living on the East Coast with a hurricane bearing down on us!

I will take my little flood in lieu of that!

Again, I always say, we live in God’s Country, even with our occasional flash floods!

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