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Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Thousand Year Rain

Our South Bend mayor referred to the downpour of last Monday as our 1000 year storm.  I am not sure how one can know that but it is true that we had record rainfall on that day--probably an inch more than ever before recorded in our area.  At 11:30, just as we were almost asleep, Jim's phone beeped with a text about flash flood warnings.  We should have checked the basement at that point but alas, we didn't.

Books on floor pre-flooding
At 6 am Tuesday,  Jim went downstairs to shower and found himself walking in water throughout almost the whole basement.  When I woke up later, he said, "Mary, we have a problem and it's beyond what we can handle."   We googled basement flooding and came up with a number to call.  Eventually, our call was returned with a promise to come by evening.

We have had small amounts of water in the basement before and have mopped it up with our wet vacuum.  When Chem-Dry's Ed and Mike came at 7:30 pm, they began "extracting" and took out 200 gallons.  They didn't have all the equipment they needed because others were ahead of us in line--and others had it far worse.  There was no opportunity to compare shopping.  We were just glad to have them begin the work as soon as possible.

Equipment on its way out
Either Ed or Mike has been by every day and will continue to monitor the situation until all is dry.  Ed is "thrilled" with the progress.  I am tired of the noise of humidifiers and fans and the heat emerging from their running in the basement.  At one point, there may have been a dozen machines going hard.

What have we lost?  Not a lot.   Fortunately, Jim had just put almost all of his recently moved and unpacked books on shelves or there would have been a great loss.  There were some large volumes on the floor that he thought were too weighty to go on shelves.  There were others that he was undecided about--and now the decision is made to get rid of them!

Emails and other memorabilia drying out
The saddest part for me was finding a very waterlogged  box of clippings and programs and old emails from Laura and Dan.   Jeff's box was on top and suffered no damage.  I have been drying out papers all week, throwing out items such as bank statements and parent handbooks, but saving many wonderful emails, programs, news clippings and grade reports.  It has brought back many memories, some good and some not so good.  Texts and phone calls do not leave these wonderful records.

What can we do to prevent this from ever happening again?  Ed, our Chem Dry man, says just don't ever have another 8 inch rainstorm.  However, we are looking into some landscaping improvments and a sump pump installation which may help.  In any case, the basement carpet, which is original to the house and will be cleaned as the last step of the process, may be in better shape than it has been for years.

Once again there is much to be thankful about.  We had minimal damage and we have the financial resources to pay for the restoration.


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