This is obviously old news, but it seems worthy of blogging about.
Not too long ago, Hurricane Irene attacked our area. All in all, for our area, I was expecting things to be much worse based on the predictions. Not that it wasn't bad - there were trees down, power out for a long time for some, but as far as I know in this area, not a lot of houses were wiped out like you so often hear about for more hurricane prone areas.
What there did seem to be a lot of, was basement flooding. Enter, exhibit A:
It's a little hard to tell from the photo, but that is about 3 inches of standing water in our basement.
We didn't really plan for flooding (hence all the stuff still on the basement floor). We haven't had flooding issues since we put new gutters on the house. But it seems what did us in was the lack of power. No power = no sump pump = water oozing in through porous concrete.
We were actually so not-planning on flooding, that, for fear of the possibility of the large tree next to us falling on to Papillon's nursery, we had her start the night off sleeping in the basement....in her pack n play....a mere 3.5 inches off the later-flooded ground. Yikes. We moved her back upstairs when we realized it was flooding (and I proceeded to spend the rest of the night alternately kicking myself for putting her in danger of the flooding in the basement, and wondering if that tree was going to take out our roof and Papillon's room with it. Tis a good thing there is a lot of grace for parenting and Papillon survived completely oblivious to the excitement.
When morning came, it was time to attack the problem. My solution - wait for the power to come back on, and let the sump pump do it's thing. Mon Amour, however, is a man of action so he got a bucket and started bailing. I was not optimistic that this would help. So I thought perhaps I would distract Mon Amour from his futile and back breaking efforts by inviting some friends over for a post-hurricane party. Well, we have such awesome friends, that when they got here, they were cool with it being a bailing party. So, everyone got a bucket, or a pan or a pitcher. And we bailed out the basement.
Miracle of miracles (or at least it seemed that way to me, the pessimist), in about 2 hours time, our basement was free from standing water. It was still very wet, but no more measurable water. We calculated it took about 16 man-hours to bail the basement. Mon Amour would have been bailing literally all day if not for our amazing friends. We paid them in pizza, but it was hardly fair pay for all that manual labor.
We wrapped up the bailing party with a fun party game.
All in all, it was a lovely time. But mostly, I was struck by how amazingly blessed we are. This time last year, had our basement flooded, we wouldn't have had anyone to call. We had just found our church, but hadn't really met anyone yet, let alone made friends. In a years time, we have found soooo many amazing friends. Prior to moving here, when Mon Amour was looking for a new job all over the country, I kept telling myself we would make great new friends wherever we went, but really I was skeptical about leaving our awesome college friends. I am please to say that, true to form, God came through and blessed us with another set of really fabulous friends.
Ok, moving on from the sappiness. I am pleased to report that with the help of a friends shop vac, and another friends dehumidifier, our basement is now basically dry! The baseboards started growing mold before we could get them dry, so they are in the process of being replaced. But all in all, the extend of our hurricane damages was a few soaked textbooks and a bit of moldy baseboard.