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Thursday, August 21, 2014

I've seen fire and I've seen rain

Tuesday night Linc only woke up at 1:30a to eat. I was thrilled! He had slept extra throughout the day and really well during the night since he had shots earlier in the afternoon. What a blessing that turned out to be, since Aspen was up sometime after 2am for the looooongest bathroom break in the history of the world. She repeatedly called out to us to tell her things she was "dreaming" and I don't even know what else. I was tired and not listening.

I'm not sure what got Kev up at 4a, but that's when the rain was coming down in sheets. Neighbors said it looked like a wall of water just pouring out of the sky. When I ran to the front of the house to close windows, I could hear the rain puddling at the bottom of our driveway (it slants from the road down to our garage). Not a good sign. Kev was hurriedly getting dressed so he could go out and put the pump in our driveway drain and sandbag the area.

By the time I had ensured both kids were sleeping and had put in contacts so I could be more useful, the water was already seeping into the garage. In minutes, it made its way into the rest of the basement. I was shocked. I just stood on the lower stairs and watched water take over my house.

Kev was very efficient and got sandbags at the top of the driveway to divert a lot of water. The entire street was a river since all the storm drains were at capacity. Neighbors all over with similar architecture suffered flooding, some up to THREE FEET in their basements. Luckily, we had probably six inches in the house. The garage may have held more, though.

We had neighbors helping us for about an hour and a half, forming a bucket brigade up the driveway. Kev went to his office once things were under control and he picked up equipment that he would use for the rest of the day to extract water and dry things out. I am so grateful Linc and Aspen slept so well and I didn't have to worry about constantly going inside, soaking wet, to check on them. I was hauling buckets until about 530a or so when I went inside and discovered Linc was finally awake and crying. I felt badly excusing myself from all the volunteers saving my house, but you gotta do what you gotta do to stop a crying baby.

I also took the opportunity to call my mom and cry. As I sat with the boy and nursed him, I was finally able to get emotional about what was happening. I was so stressed and overwhelmed that it was nice to call someone and just cry about it. Out the window I could hear my neighbors continually dumping water from the driveway out into the street. When I emerged from the house with Linc a little while later, they had moved next door to help Paul and Michelle, and Fox13 News was set up in front of our place.

A couple of hours later Kev had a number of men from our ward helping him haul junk out of the house. Thankfully, the day was setting up to be mostly sunny and warm so things could dry on the lawn. My dear friend Kim took Aspen at 930 in the morning and kept her until after lunch so she would have a wonderful day with a non-stressed-to-the-max grown up. My phone was constantly ringing as friends called to offer help and support. Immediately, I felt so blessed. Yes, I was still overwhelmed and so very sad about the whole situation. But I felt so blessed.

Another neighbor arranged to bring us dinner and to do my laundry. Since we're going out of town in a few days, that was immensely helpful. I had planned to do more cleaning today in preparation for our trip but with the basement flooded, the laundry room was out of commission.

All day people helped us. Another neighbor fed Linc a bottle for me so I could run out and get lunch for everyone. Having been up since 4am, by 1p I was hungry enough to eat my own arm.

A lot of our belongings were safely tucked in Rubbermaid bins, or stacked on shelving. But a lot of our belongings were ruined. The piano will probably have to go. A lot of building supplies are trashed. The carpet and pad are questionable (Kev has some great equipment at work that is supposed to salvage carpet/pad without removal). But some important things, like my collection of journals from the last 20 years of my life, are safe.

Today Kev is back at work, and our house is drying out with about a dozen fans in the basement and garage. Kev didn't do a flood cut yet on the walls, but baseboards have been removed, insulation has been pulled, and there are ventilation holes drilled at the bottoms of the walls. It's such a blessing he knows what he's doing. We don't have flood insurance and won't be filing any claims, so all repair costs will be out of pocket.

What's really upsetting to me is that Kev just spent the last year finishing the basement. And just last week he reorganized the storage room to maximize space down there. He sorted through more of our things and went on another spree selling stuff on KSL. We were doing so well getting everything put together! And now we're starting all over again.

Hopefully he won't have to pull drywall and start from scratch in those rooms downstairs. Hopefully the carpet and pad will sufficiently dry without removal. Hopefully it won't flood again while we're out of town!

Overall, though, things aren't so bad. Yes, I am bone-tired today after putting in so many hours yesterday. And yes, we're all sore and achy from hauling buckets and our belongings around. But it was only six inches of water. Having lost an entire home before, and all my belongings, this feels like nothing. This is just an inconvenience and not a devastation. We can stay in our home. And we can be more prepared if this happens again.

PS Here's a LINK to the news coverage. My handsome husband was interviewed. I am so grateful for him.

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  1. that is so crazy. i'm so sorry. :( but that's seriously amazing your husband knows what he's doing!!

  2. Oh my, craziness! But yay for wonderful neighbors and a husband who knows what he is doing! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help!


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