Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Our Basement Got Flooded!

I now know what it must be like to live along the coast when there are the torrential rains that accompany hurricane season. If anyone has been watching the weather channel (and if you do, don't admit it) you'll have seen that south central Minnesota got hammered by rains over the last 36 hours. It seems that our area was right in the middle of the worst of it. We received over 9.5 inches of rain from mother nature over the last day. A town only 10 miles (Blooming Prairie) away ended up getting almost 12 inches of rain.

With this rain also came a small tragedy for our family, well mainly for our family's house. Since there was so much rain in such a short period of time, our basement flooded. What sucks is that our basement is completely furnished and finished so all of the carpet, everything that was on the floor, and the bottom of the walls got soaked as we had probably 6 inch deep water in some spots. Other spots, like the corners of my room, didn't get above the carpet. I'll have some pictures that I took of the basement up tomorrow.

It's a good thing that my dad got up around 3 am this morning to just check things over or we might have really had a big problem. When he got up and went down to the basement, as soon as he turned the light on, he saw the glare of water on the linoleum at the bottom of the stairs. Something with our drainage system went bad. As the rain continued to pour, the water in the basement continued to grow.

My mom woke me up at around 3:30 am, which is really early considering I just went to bed at 11:30 pm. When I got up, the water was flowing out of our furnace room (where one of the sewer drains is) into the living room and addition. I didn't even notice that our toy room/library room (the other room with a sewer drain) was full of water, not until I started walking down the hall at least.

As I stepped into the hall I heard a squishing noise and felt cold water on my feet. The carpet was sopping wet, but it hadn't reached my room yet. The first things we had to do were get all electronics and things we wanted to stay dry off of the floors. We ended up with two fried computers from the water before we could get them up. Fortunately, no other electronics were lost.

I had a bunch of philosophy books on the floor in the toy room that are now ruined along with a bunch of cds. My mom lost a lot of clothes and collectibles she had stored in our storage room. Beyond that, we got most everything else up to dry land.

After we got everything up, my mom started sweeping water into the addition where the sub pump is so that it could get sucked out of the basement. I was on bucket duty bailing out the deepest spots. While we were working the water spread into my room and my brother's room. I thought I might be safe, but I couldn't keep the water from flowing in.

Once the rain finally stopped and my dad hooked up a separate pump outside to pump water away from the house and septic tank, the water finally started going down. After a little while it was drained, but the damage to the carpet and basement was already done.

The rest of the morning/afternoon we've been taking turns on the shop vac getting as much water out of the carpet as we could and draining it out. I was amazed at how much water was actually in the carpet. We later noticed that some of the puddles in the carpet kept reforming after we vacuumed them. Apparently there was so much water pressure in the ground that it was swelling up through some of the cracks in the cement foundation.

As it is right now, the basement is still extremely damp and smells slightly like sewage, but there's no new water coming in. I'll be migrating to the new living room to sleep for the foreseeable future as everything that was on the floor in my room is now on my bed and it'll take a while for the carpet to fully dry out.

Now we'll have the huge task of either having all of the carpet replaced or professionally cleansed & disinfected. Either way, everything is going to have to get cleaned out downstairs, so it looks like spring cleaning for us is taking place in the fall. I'm just thankful that my comic books were all on shelves a solid foot off of the ground so they all made it without getting wet.

If there's even less posts over the next few days, now you know why. Ugghhh.... I think I've seen enough water to last me at least a few months (and my feet will probably be all wrinkled for just as long).

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