Tuesday, March 30, 2010

OK, it's worse

Last night, as I drove home from work, I sat in my car with a feeling of dread about what I'd find in the basement. It started raining again yesterday and after our flood last week, I'll never look at rain the same way again.

Stunningly, the basement was dry upon my return home. Much relief all around. Heading to bed at 11 PM or so, the basement was water-free.

Then our neighbor's gas generator fired up at 3AM, waking us up and a good thing, too.

There was more water than yesterday and it was rising fast. Even the efforts we'd taken to move items to positions where they'd be safe were about to fail. So we scrambled to haul stuff upstairs, emptying filing cabinets and CD racks, carrying futons up the stairs and dumping them in the guest room. Moving the power cords and new surge protectors to the tops of desks or the entertainment center.

There was no way our utility pump was going to handle this. A dawn run to Home Depot when it opened at 6AM bore no fruit -- completely sold out. Lowes? Same thing. So I turned around and headed home, detouring around sections of roads and towns that were impassable. Then I figured I'd stop at the local hardware store in the hope that they opened at 7AM. Thankfully, even though they didn't actually open until 7:30, the staff was already there and kindly let me and another gentleman in to buy pumps.

So then home with utility pump #2 where I quickly got it fired up. By that point, the furnace was extinguished and our telephone jack was underwater (bye bye warm water and the landline). I fired off a few e-mails to work to let them know that I most definitely wasn't going in (not the only person from work in this predicament) followed by a lie down on the couch with the cat, just needing to relax for a moment. Sadly, that didn't work and hasn't worked all day as my stomach is tied in knots.

And then it became apparent that the two pumps weren't keeping up with the influx of water. A call to family for aid saw my mother arrive a short while later with their utility pump. Now all three are spewing water out of the house and appear, just maybe, to be at least running even with new water coming in.

Even so, the rain continues to fall in sheets and buckets with no sign of letup. Several counties in RI now enjoy the designation of Federal Disaster Area thanks to a statement by President Obama. Sadly, ours is not one of them yet but we can hold out hope. We can also hold out hope that the rain stops, that the water table eventually begins to recede, and that we do not under any circumstances lose power. It's bad enough now. Losing power and the pumps will make things oh so much worse.

Send good thoughts and dry weather, please!

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