Saturday, May 19, 2012

The One With the Flood

Two weeks ago we had a pretty nasty thunderstorm that flooded our apartment building. Everything was a mess, and I think I'm just now starting to process what happened and feel like everything is back to normal. Sort of.

On Thursday, May 10, we were getting into bed when our power went out. This wasn't really surprising considering that a thunderstorm had been going on outside for a few hours. What was surprising was when frantic knocking on our door woke us up around 3am. A maintenance guy from our complex came by warning us to try to move our cars out of the parking lot right then or risk them flooding and possibly being picked up in the water.

Uh, what?

We found out later that apparently the sump pump in our building quit working and water was flooding not only the parking lot, but had completely filled the basement-level apartments and storage area.
Yes, the water really was almost to the top of the doorway. Notice the floating piece of drywall that broke off of the wall.
We weren't able to move our cars, but luckily they weren't picked up in the floodwaters or damaged too badly. The next day emergency workers came to start pumping water out of our building (and a few other buildings in our complex), while we dealt with trying to dry out our cars. We ended up not having either of our cars for about a week - I couldn't even get a rental car until the next Wednesday because Enterprise had such a long wait-list of people who needed rentals.
Standing water in my car - almost up to the door - the next day.
The nasty water in my trunk.

The next day, after they had started pumping water out of the basement. It took so long to pump out all of the water that we had to evacuate the building over the weekend (since the power couldn't be turned back on with all of the water still there).

The next building over from ours. I added the black arrow to draw attention to the line where the water was in the middle of the night. Some basement windows (including the ones in our building) were actually blown out from the flooding, unlike this one.
Everything in the basement obviously was much worse off. Almost everything we had stored down there had to be trashed, but fortunately we didn't keep much down there to begin with (mostly moving boxes). Our biggest losses were our Christmas tree, Drew's bowling balls and our nice down comforter we bought as a wedding gift to ourselves. Crappy? Yes. But there are two units in the basement that people lived in, and they lost everything. We were lucky. We were even able to save most of our Christmas ornaments (some fabric ornaments from Drew's grandparents were even completely dry), which was my biggest concern.
Our apartment complex is still in shambles two weeks later. Emergency restoration workers are still here, and most of the trash (a.k.a. everyone's possessions from the basement) has just been removed. Don't even get me started on the damp, moldy smell that hits us every time we enter our building (but thankfully hasn't made it up to our third-floor apartment).
One of the giant dumpsters invading our parking lot so the workers can throw out basically our building's entire basement.
What the basement looks like now. Hard to believe the door on the right led into someone's apartment two weeks ago.
So that's what's happening in our lives right now. It wasn't fun, but at least it's pretty much over. And for anyone wondering, the residents in the basement apartments made it out safely before the water level got too high (you can read some of their story here).

I think it goes without saying that I've been pretty busy and preoccupied lately, but I'm hoping to be back soon with another recipe review and news about what we're doing this summer. I can't wait to not have to deal with this anymore!

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