The husband woke me up at around 7:30 this morning, telling me he needed my help. The basement had flooded.
If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you’ll remember that my area has severe flooding problems. It’s actually a sharp bone of contention in my town, as many of us think that super-over-development of surrounding rural areas has created a stormwater crisis. We suffered severe floods since 2000, with 2006 and 2007 being the worst. After the kids and I dug a dry well and we installed a second pump, the basement has rarely flooded in excess of a few inches for several years. We kinda hoped our flooding days were over. During last year’s renovation, I had to store a lot of stuff in the basement (we were using our garage as a living space): power tools, wood, everything from the garage, really. So while we always checked the basement when it rained, it has been dry thus far. And I haven’t had a chance to clean the basement and put the garage back together yet (I was going to do that as soon as the weather got warmer, which, incidentally, happened yesterday).
But we have had a heck of a lot of rain this month. Last I heard, the weather guy said that out of 28 days in April, we’ve had measurable rain for 26 of them. Earlier this week, we’ve had 6 inches of rain total for April. But last night’s torrential rains upped that a bit, I’d say.
To those who knew what was happening this morning: Thank you SO SO much for praying. I know it has helped. We had a complication this time, and I was very afraid of what would happen.
Unfortunately, we had stored in our basement–a lot of stuff: old engine oil waiting to go to the hazardous waste facility; paint; tools; etc. All that was washed up in the water that came surging in through our sump well. It coated everything and made water removal impossible.
The fire department came to help, but when they saw the oil, they had to call the DEC. It was pretty scary for a while, as I envisioned tens of thousands of dollars in bills from a HAZMAT team… but after it FINALLY stopped raining, we surveyed the damage. The DEC guy said that the oil spill was not large and therefore would not require a HAZMAT team (nor expensive bills). He said we could hire a professional cleanup crew to clean this up, or I could do it myself to save money. Guess which I chose…. he gave me a run down of what to get and how to clean it up, and how to dispose of the waste…. lots to do this week!
Anyway, we still have water in the basement. We have to control it carefully as we pump it out, because we cannot allow any oil to flow into the municipal water system (and the nearby creek). As the water goes down, we are mopping up the oil with large absorbent pads. Once the water is all gone, I begin the long process of shoveling out the sediment, removing the debris, junking the debris, and washing the walls and floor. My insurance will pay for a new water heater and for my ruined tools and power saws, thank God.
The yard is a disaster, filled with several layers of thick sediment from the flood waters. My house sits at a low spot in the general area, and seems to collect all the neighboring flood waters, so we bear the brunt of the flooding. I’ve got a lot of cleanup on my hands. I’ll have to take a few days off from work to care for this.
If you ask what we need pray for, it’s NO MORE RAIN. Please, no more rain. I know so many people have it worse off than us, so pray for them, too. God is a big God, and He cares even about my small problems.
Thanks for your support, friends. It makes things like this more bearable. God bless you.