Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Armegeddon is upon us!

No, not really, but this is some serious flooding up in here.
My original plan for today's blog was going to be to participate in the book blog trend called "Waiting on Wednesday," wherein bloggers pick a soon-to-be-released book that they're excited about and talk about it.  Instead, I guess I could sub-title this post "Wading on Wednesday."  C'mon, that was wicked funny!
Here's a before and after of my yard - taken from a slightly different angle, but you get the point.  I guess this is a 500 year storm or something, but that aside, our house still wouldn't have flooded if not for the Town having released the dams controlling the two streams that flow through our neighborhood, one of which runs across the back of our property.  When we got home from work yesterday, our back yard looked like this:

It was pretty bad, but it wasn't that bad.  We heard that the City was giving out free sandbags, so we headed over and picked up 10, thinking that would be plenty to set outside out basement door, just in case.  We used 6, and wound up giving the last 4 to a neighbor.  We were positive that the stream wasn't going to come over the banks, and even if it did, we thought it would just be an inch or two by the time it got up by our door.  No worries.  We made dinner, it got dark, we watched the URI basketball game, and we checked on the basement and sump pump now and then.  On my way to bed at about midnight (right around the time URI lost - that's a whole other post), I went down to check again, and the floor was wet!  I grabbed a towel and started wiping it up, and J came down to help, and around 1:00 am we realized that there was no way we were going to keep up, the water was coming in so fast.  We got everything up off the floor and I called my dad because I didn't know what I needed to know about our furnace or electric hot water heater.  
Daddy came over.  He's the best.

J and Daddy went to the DPW and picked up 20 more sandbags, which we lined up like this:

Thus creating a channel from the door where the water was pouring in to the sump pump.  Brilliant!  J and I wouldn't have thought of this on our own, so again, thanks Daddy!  By the time we finished and got to try and go to bed, it was a little after 3:00 am.  We slept until 4:15, then went down to check on it.  We had to pound the sandbags a little tighter where water was creeping between, but otherwise, there were a few inches of water behind the bags, but it was all being directed to the sump pump as planned, and still the same half-inch or so puddle over the rest of the floor.  Success!  So we went back to bed from 4:30 til a little before 7:00.
This is what we woke up to:

Oy vey.  That's the same horseshoe pit as the first set of pics, and that last pic in each set is of the stream itself.  Thankfully, our dolt of a Governor finally did something right and declared a state of emergency and told people to stay home.  Most schools were closed, and state government was shut down, giving me the day off.  I wasn't planning on going in anyway, but it was nice to know that the wheels of government weren't turning without me today.  But today was largely without rain, and the water in our yard had started receding by 9:00.  Outside that basement door last night when I was adding sandbags, the water was up to my knees.  Thank you to URI GSO for buying me hip waders back when I was working on the salt marshes, they came in handy the last couple of days.  I knew there was a reason I held on to those fancy boots.

Aaaaanyway, the water finally got low enough to stop flowing into the house at around noon today, and we got it all cleaned up.  The floor is still wet, but there's no more puddles, and we didn't lose anything of any value.  And honestly, I feel dumb complaining about a couple of inches when parts of the state have something like 9 feet of water invading their homes.  Roads are closed all over the state, including major highways like I-95, the Warwick sewage treatment plant is flooded out and the entire city can't flush their toilets or take showers.  So far they still have potable drinking water, but who knows if that will change too.  It's crazy.  My mom had to work today and she left the office at 5:10 - it's now 7:30 and I doubt she's home yet.  She works about 12 miles from home.  My dad went to get a haircut at his regular barber, about 15 minutes from home.  He got there fine, but it took him 3 hours to get home.  They live in Warwick.  They may be coming over tonight to take showers.  I leave you with some photos from around the state, and with my heartfelt thoughts and prayers for everyone who's doing a lot worse than I am tonight.  Good luck out there and God bless.


  1. Oh my goodness! I'm glad you didnt have any major damage. Good luck with the clean up!

  2. Wow...having gone through 2 of these myself I totally sympathize with you. Like you, our damage was minimal compared to other parts of the city we used to live in. Those photos you posted bring back memories. Good luck and hope all goes well.