Flooded Basement? Mobilize the Cavalry!

On Saturday night, my finished basement flooded. I was home by myself, doing laundry, when a thunderstorm rolled into town. Torrential rain. House-shaking thunder. Something made me head down to the basement. Truthfully, I'm not sure what it was, since I had no reason to be going down there at that point in time. Good thing I did. Water was rushing in through the wall where our water meter lives.

I grabbed my cat who was crouching in terror as the water flowed toward her and quickly ran her upstairs and shut the door to the basement. I grabbed the phone, called my husband who was as a bachelor party, and told him to come home immediately. I yanked all the plugs out of my computer, and threw the box on a chair. By the time my husband arrived, I had shut the water off. The flow had stopped. But not before over six inches of water had infiltrated. It was a complete and total mess.

That night, we hooked up our pool pump and sucked most of the water out. We didn't want to do too much cleanup Saturday night, since we figured our insurance company would need to send a rep in either Sunday or first thing Monday to survey the damage. We found out Sunday morning that our insurance company wouldn't cover anything. Apparently, no insurance company covers surface or sub-surface water damage. Fantastic. So early Sunday morning, we started the cleanup effort.

I called my grandma because we needed to come over and borrow some of her fans to dry out the water. Then I called my cousin to come over to help with the heavy lifting (we had to move a lot of furniture and we needed an extra set of hands). Those two phone calls mobilized the family cavalry.

You see, where my relatives are concerned, emergencies are a family affair. Actually, even non-emergencies end up involving the entire family. Tell one family member something that's bothering you, and pretty soon everyone in the family knows about it and they're calling you to offer support...or food. This can be both a positive and a negative, as you can imagine. But in a true emergency, my family members rise to the challenge.

I went to my grandma's house to pick up the fans and my cousin. I returned home with my cousin, five fans, a dehumidifier, an extension cord, and a wet/dry vac. I pulled into my driveway and saw that my great aunt and uncle were there, along with another cousin and her boyfriend. My cousin's boyfriend had helped my husband move furniture. My aunt was scrubbing the basement walls, and my uncle was directing traffic from atop the basement stairs. My grandma (whose house I had just left) arrived soon after with another one of my aunts. They brought two more wet/dry vacs (one belonging to my aunt, which she immediately pronounced ours-she was giving it to us-and the other belonging to my uncle, at whose house they had stopped prior to coming to ours). My grandma walked in carrying food: cherries, sandwiches, grape tomatoes, watermelon. "You need to eat lunch!!!" she said. "You can't do all this work on an empty stomach." For Italians, nothing should ever be attempted without a full belly, drenched basement be damned. Seven family members had descended on my house in less than one hour. All helped the cleanup effort in some way.

It took most of the day, but things are under control. We rented two carpet cleaners to suck up most of the water. We've had fans and the dehumidifier running for the last 24 hours. The basement smells musty, but hopefully that smell will lessen in time. But the most valuable lesson I learned from this entire experience is that I can never appreciate my family enough. True, sometimes I don't want everyone in my family involved in every aspect of my life, but it's times like these that truly make me grateful for their care and concern. I am very lucky to have them.

5 Responses to “Flooded Basement? Mobilize the Cavalry!”

  1. # Blogger PractiGal

    Wow! There are definite advantages to having a large family locally. Now, in between crises, do you just tell them that you've moved? ;-)

    I'm calling your grandma next time we have a crisis... lunch sounds yummy!  

  2. # Anonymous MissMeliss

    I don't think it would have occurred to me to use a pool pump as a siphon. But then, I don't have a basement at all, so it's not really an issue.  

  3. # Blogger Kristi

    Practigal-Grandma is great in a crisis. I think the only reason she didn't start cooking in my kitchen was because it was too hot.

    MissMeliss- yeah, that pool pump really came in handy!  

  4. # Blogger dehumidifier

    Hi, your blog is fantastic. I'm searching for a dehumidifier to my new house and you've showed me a lot of types. It's simple great. I've a site too: http://dehumidifiers2you.blogspot.com, I think it's good too. Under this link: dehumidifier you can find some interesting thing, just visit this links. Thanks Lora  

  5. # Blogger dehumidifier

    Hi, your blog is fantastic. I'm searching for a dehumidifier to my new house and you've showed me a lot of types. It's simple great. I've a site too: http://dehumidifiers2you.blogspot.com, I think it's good too. Under this link: dehumidifier you can find some interesting thing, just visit this links. Thanks Lora  

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